Menstrual hygiene management is women’s human right: ministry

Human Rights

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is women’s human right, an official from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Zulkarnaen H. Nugroho, has said.

MHM has become a concern at the national and international level, he noted during a discussion on “The Role of Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management in Healthy School Implementation,” which was held online on Thursday.

This is the reason why MHM has been included in efforts to realize the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“In the fifth point, it clearly discusses gender equality. In gender equality, it discusses how to improve menstrual health and hygiene or reproductive health in schools,” Nugroho pointed out.

Schools play an important role in educating students about MHM, including methods to maintain hygiene during menstruation and routines that need to be followed.

This is especially important given that there are still many girls who do not understand that menstruation is a normal biological process and they only come to know of it when they experience menarche or their first menstruation.

Further, schools must ensure the availability of clean water and soap as well as clean and lockable toilet facilities to protect students’ privacy and allow them access to sanitary facilities.

“Unfortunately, one out of two education institutions, at all levels, does not meet the menstruation management service standard, with primary schools having the highest figure of 45 percent,” Nugroho informed.

Moreover, there is still a gap in MHM facility provision between urban and rural schools.

In villages, the proportion of schools that do not meet the MHM facility standard has reached 52 percent, while in cities, it is 30 percent.

This is despite the fact that, in the long term, MHM implementation in schools can help prevent skin infection and irritation among teenage girls and improve their confidence to remain in school and follow lessons.

Moreover, it can also prevent the destruction of toilets, water channels, and the environment as well as improve teenage boys’ empathy for their female friends who are menstruating.

“Hence, we should collaborate. If we move alone, it will be difficult, but if we can involve external actors from many sectors then it will be easier,” he remarked.

“Schools can implement MHM. Potential partners, please support this implementation with real cooperation so that the students remember MHM,” he added.

 

Source: Antara News