Bangladesh Observing Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023

Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated each year on 28th May. This date has been chosen to mark the average 28-day periodic cycle and people menstruate an average of 5 days each month, May the fifth month of the year. This year the theme is ‘Making Menstruation a Normal Fact of Life by 2030’.

Though the day is not as welcome as other international days in Bangladesh, yet remarkable initiatives have been taken to celebrate the day this year. In spite of huge backlashes different organisations working on normalizing the period as a regular health issue to be talked off. People have mostly taken menstruation, the health of young women, and menstruation products as important responsibilities to be undertaken.  

The World Menstrual Hygiene Day has been widely observed by different public, private and non-governmental sectors of Bangladesh. Let’s have a gaze at their interventions. 

Week-long observation by SNV Bangladesh 

Bangladesh’s largest employer of women is the textile industry, which makes it the ideal target for campaigns to raise knowledge of menstrual health and dispel taboos around it. SNV Bangladesh conducted a week-long awareness program aimed at Bangladeshi workers in the ready-made garment industry to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day. Throughout the week, SNV collaborated with a total of 1,300 garment employees from a list of 10 factories. 

More than 89% of Bangladesh’s 78.4 million women continue to use rags in place of sanitary napkins, endangering their productivity, dignity, and health by increasing the likelihood of unsightly leaks and dangerous infections.

To raise awareness of this important issue, encourage, support, and reward the adoption of inclusive business practices in the apparel industry, with a special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights under the Working with Women Act, was the mission statement for their intervention. They also had screenings of documentaries and quizzes with hygiene goods as rewards.

MTB Foundation distributes sanitary napkins

The MTB Foundation in partnership with Abinta Kabir Foundation School celebrated the Menstrual Hygiene Day following this year’s theme “Making Menstruation a Normal Fact of Life by 2030”. MTB Foundation promises to support adolescent female pupils at the school by giving them sanitary napkins each month as part of commemorating the special day. 

They believe it can eradicate the stigma associated with menstruation by bringing attention to the problems with menstrual product access, education on periods, and period-friendly sanitation facilities. Through this collaboration, MTB Foundation hopes to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 4 (Quality Education), 6, and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

Shaathi conducts reusable pad-making workshop
Social enterprise Shaathi Bangladesh Limited organised a workshop for making reusable pads on the occasion of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023 at the Edward M Kennedy (EMK) Centre in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Around 30 participants attended the reusable pad-making workshop was conducted in three parts with the introductory presentation done by Faria Jahan, partnership and branding officer of Shaathi Bangladesh Limited. Dr Shiva Shahidi, medical officer of Impulse Hospital provided a visually engaging presentation on menstruation, its symptoms, abnormalities to be aware of, menstrual hygiene and nutrition needed for optimum health. Lastly, Lima Rahman, a reusable pad-making trainer, taught making hand-sewn reusable pads using voil, flannel and silk fabrics. The pads have wings and can be fastened using buttons.

In order to end period poverty Shathi have been making eco-friendly reusable pads that are soft, comfortable, breathable and can be washed and reused for up to a year, making them highly cost-efficient for people with low incomes. These pads can cut waste by 200,000 metric tonnes annually.

With these events, social media was also loud with menstruation campaigns, hashtags and others. These events have positive impact resulting in normalizing the menstruation fact.


SNV, The Daily Star, Mutual Trust Bank

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