BARKA Foundation and those fighting Period Poverty are gearing up all over the world right now in preparation for Menstrual Hygiene Day tomorrow, May 28. This annual event has been growing in popularity and impact for the past several years. This year, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, it is poised to become a major worldwide virtual event to create more awareness about this important issue than ever before.

The Bracelets: Bracelets are being locally created across the planet to symbolize an end to the stigmatization around periods and to provide a visual reminder of the 5 days of a period within a 28-day cycle. The bracelets above were made locally in Burkina Faso.

The theme of this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day is: It’s Time for Action!

And in Burkina, action is what we’re seeing. At the national observance of MH Day in Ouagadougou earlier this week, an event that BARKA Foundation helped to organize and financially supported, the Minister of Education said that Menstrual Hygiene Awareness is now a priority for the new educational curricula that the government is developing.  In just 4 years, we have taken this issue from 0 to 100, put it on the radar of the Ministry of Education, and have done much to break the silence around the taboo topic of menstruation.

Pictured above are 3 of BARKA’s MHM Program Leaders, from left to right: Madame Zalle, Madame Bonkoungou, and Madame Traore. On May 28, they will lead a 1-hour radio program on the subject of Menstrual Health to sensitize listeners in the entire eastern region.

Here are some of the questions they will discuss:

  • What is menstruation?
  • Why do women menstruate?
  • How can you safely and hygienically manage your menstruation?
  • At what age do girls begin having their periods?
  • When do women stop menstruating?
  • How do you know when the date for your next period will be?
  • What symptoms may a girl have before or during her period?
  • Why do girls miss school during their periods?
  • What advice can you give a girl to be at ease, comfortable and healthy during her periods?
  • Why do we celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day?

Also, WASH United, a leader in the field of Menstrual Health has created a very informative infographic on periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. We highly recommend you check it out here. Periods don’t stop for pandemics, and neither do we! #PeriodsInPandemics

Have a wonderful, safe and action-filled Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020! Together we can end stigmatization and period poverty to empower girls and women around the world.