Knowledge, best practices and tools developed through the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Kit innovation process in East Africa will be consolidated and disseminated globally, with the aim of adoption by internal and external actors for comprehensive, effective and accountable MHM action in emergencies.
MHM is currently not a standard component of WASH or health interventions in emergencies within the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) movement. There is a lack of awareness of the issues and risks with MHM in emergencies at a strategic, decision making level; both within the RCRC and external partners. This translates to MHM not being considered or being excluded from emergency programming, or limited or no funding being available for comprehensive actions. There is a lack of practical, comprehensive and accessible RCRC specific guidelines and tools to support standardised, quality and accountable MHM action globally.
Dissemination and advocacy will lead to increased awareness among decision makers in the RCRC and broader humanitarian response community, on the importance of and need to address MHM in emergency programming. RCRC National Societies will have improved knowledge and capacity to implement comprehensive, effective and accountable MHM programming in emergencies, including practical and relevant tools and resources. The overall goal is to enable women and adolescent girls to safely and hygienically manage their menstrual flow with dignity during emergency situations.
The overall potential outcome of effective diffusion is improvements in dignity and health of women and girls in emergency contexts. A key outcome will be the adoption of the comprehensive MHM kit as a humanitarian relief item, with further adaptation to various contexts, local procurement where appropriate, and consultation with women and girls through participatory assessment and feedback mechanisms. Although RCRC focused, the guidelines and resources could support other humanitarian actors to make decisions regarding appropriate, comprehensive and quality MHM action in emergencies.
Evidence-based advocacy will sensitise internal and external partners to consider MHM as an important, multi-faceted component of emergency WASH programming – and emphasise that close coordination with other sectors (health, education, protection etc) is vital.
IFRC is continuing to advocate for the inclusion of menstrual hygiene in every humanitarian response. Women and girls have menstrual hygiene needs from day 1 of any crisis – and these needs continue with every month that passes.View
IFRC share their main activities and achievements in recent month, seeking to improve effective Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) action, as well as their plans for the rest of the year.View
Although there is growing attention to the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls, it is an area that continues to be overlooked or poorly addressed by humanitarian actors, often in a ‘piecemeal’ and uncoordinated way. But – women and girls continue to get their monthly periods when a disaster strikes or when they are forced to flee their homes from conflict or drought. So how can we be accountable to them and support them in managing their most basic needs?View
Learn more about this WASH project, and many others, in our Humanitarian WASH Innovation Catalogue.
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