Menstrual hygiene management - Women's Agenda

GIRLS & COVID-19

We’ve launched this Girls & COVID-19 hub in partnership with Plan International Australia to highlight the plight of girls internationally, who stand to lose so much from the COVID-19 Pandemic. In times of crisis, it is often girls who face the greatest violation of their rights. They face a greater risk of gender-based violence, of having their education permanently stopped, of being married off early, and of being fed least and last. Research has shown that when girls are isolated at home rates of sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, trafficking and child labour increase dramatically. By standing with girls and empowering them to know their rights and lead, we can work towards a better, more equal world for all. Because a better now for her means a better future for everyone.

Girls & COVID

Menstrual hygiene management

From product shortages to price gouging, recent Plan International Australia research revealed that COVID-19 has made periods worse for women and girls around the world. Severe shortages of products, a sharp rise in prices of pads and tampons, and lack of access to basic information and services about menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is leaving girls and women worldwide struggling to manage their periods throughout the lockdowns. Some survey participants also said the pandemic had created extra stress and pressure which had made their periods more painful, or that they were delaying or avoiding seeing a GP for fear of either contracting coronavirus or taking up resources for those who have it.

Plan International Australia also surveyed 61 of its professionals working in the field of menstrual hygiene management, water, sanitation and hygiene and sexual reproductive health rights across 30 countries: 73% reported restricted access to products through shortages and disrupted supply chains, 68% noted restricted access to facilities to change, clean and dispose of sanitary products, while 54% said COVID-19 had led to a lack of MHM information and services.

We’ve partnered with Plan International Australia to publish these explainers on the impact of COVID-19 on girls internationally, for the Girls & COVID hub. You can donate direct to Plan today, to help support their efforts to create a post-COVID world where girls can take their rightful place as equals.