Share-Net Bangladesh hosts National Community Practice Meeting on Menstrual Hygiene Management
Menstruation, which is naturally omnipresent and plays as an important lifetime event in a woman’s life, is still considered a taboo or stigma in the society. The transition of a girl to a woman is often a risky journey in the country. Understanding woman’s body and the needs while creating a space for a better survival is lacking tremendously in Bangladesh.
Share-Net Bangladesh hosted an online meeting with the Community of Practice (CoP) members on 20 October, 2020. The main purpose of the event was to discuss how menstrual hygiene management (MHM) related interventions are operating in Bangladesh with the objective to develop a resource document that could be used by the local organisations to receive funds for MHM interventions in Bangladesh.
The meeting was honoured by participants from various SRHR related platforms which brought out the problems faced by female adolescents and women of Bangladesh. In an exclusive ice-breaking session, the participants were requested to talk briefly about any challenges they face, or any scope of further work they think should be explored, or any untouched area pertinent to the MHM interventions that should be more in the limelight.
Next, Masuma presented a stakeholder analysis on MHM related findings of the study. Her presentation showed that we are working more on and becoming successful in case of awareness raising; to the contrary, we are yet to succeed in bringing changes in terms of policy reform.
After the presentation, all the member participants were requested to share their insights and propositions in the discussion session. Several suggestions and recommendations were laid on the table too. Insightful discussion like—linkage between MHM and issues like early pregnancy, disability, child marriage, malnutrition, skipping schools, psychosocial growth—also came up.
Increase of the use of MHM products in the mass level especially in context of flood and COVID-19, establishment of MHM-friendly toilets, raising awareness and campaigns using ICT, importance of digital and inclusive mapping, increase of male participation even in the strategy level, awareness at schools, inclusion of corporate sectors, restructure of the school and public toilets, MHM- and environment-friendly disposal management, circulation of free sanitary napkins at grassroots level, and moreover mainstreaming MHM into national strategies—all these were discussed in the web meeting.