Menstruation in humanitarian crisis
Last time, we discussed the stigma surrounding menstruation and how that affects women’s and girls’ lives around the globe. We shared what our own youth coordinators reported about taboos associated with periods in their countries and cultures. The myths and false pieces of information which silence women and girls (and whoever has periods) and create barriers in all spheres of life. These prejudices prevent those affected from fully participating in schools, jobs, and sometimes even in family life. It presents an additional financial expense (and sometimes even a burden on females) in the cost of affording monthly menstrual health supplies.
And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, what happens when somebody is fleeing disaster, war, and crisis, when they’re in an emergency situation, and then are getting their period? When that time of the month comes around, there is no choice but to answer. Such a minuscule thing compared to war, and disaster, but yet again another thing to struggle with.
Over 30 million girls and women are currently displaced due to conflict and disasters across the world; a record high for the past approximately 70 years. Women and girls are disproportionately at risk of the effects of crises and are more likely to lose their means of livelihood or face gender-based violence. In the aftermath of disasters, their specific humanitarian needs are often neither adequately identified, nor addressed in the ensuing response by governments and humanitarian agencies alike.
Fila’s campaign aims to raise finances to provide Sustainable Dignity Kits to the Rohingya women and girls who are close to the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar. For just $10, the sustainable dignity kits will include 2 pairs of underwear, a set of two washable/reusable menstrual pads that can last between 3-5 years, a bag that they can use to store the items, and a ziplock bag that they can use to soak and clean the pads with minimal water. The goal here is not to distribute thousands of kits – as it is a personal donation effort. Fila wants to make use of her campaign to provide for as many women and girls as is possible.
Find our full article on Mindthis Magazine here.