• Date
    28 - 29 May 2018
  • Location
    Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Tickets
  • Speakers
May 2018
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28-29 MAY 2018

Menstrual Health Management Symposium

UNFPA, the Department of Women and partners are to hold the first ever, potentially life changing meeting on managing menstrual health for women and girls in the East and Southern Africa region, the Menstrual Health Management Symposium, in Johannesburg, South Africa from 28 to 29 May.

Why menstrual health matters

Maintaining health and hygiene during menstruation is important for women and girls’ health, well-being, mobility and dignity. To ensure this, they require access to the information, supplies and facilities needed to manage their menstruation. Yet, in the ESA region many girls and women – especially those who live in poverty-stricken areas or who have been affected by humanitarian emergencies – do not have access to appropriate information or menstrual health management facilities and products that are effective, affordable and safe to use. This hinders the daily activities of girls and women, leads to stigma and discrimination, and isolates them from their friends and local communities. Critically, it increases the risk of school absence and drop-out, affects work performance and has potential implications for reproductive and mental health.

Our Key Speakers

Minister of Women Government of South Africa
    Regional Director UNFPA
      Lead MHM Researcher
        Thembekile Mahlaba
          Music Celebrity, Kenya
            Thamsanqa Sibandze

              With thanks to the following partners for their generous financial and technical contributions: 

              • 28 May
                Day 1
              • 29 May
                Day 2
              • Day 1
              8.30 am – 9.00 am
              Registration and Breakfast

              9.00 am – 9.30 am
              Welcome from Symposium Moderators

              Opening Remarks from Organizers   Dr Julitta Onabanjo, Regional Director, UNFPA East and Southern Africa

              Hon. Bathabile Dlamini, Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Republic of South Africa

              09.30 am – 10.30 am
              Panel Discussion

              11.00 am – 12.00 pm
              Plenary: Setting The Scene

              A life-cycle approach to Menstrual Health Management (Siri Tellier, WoMena and Department of Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

              Discussion and Q&A

              12.00 pm – 1.00 pm
              Plenary: Menstrual Health Management and Sexual and Reproductive Health

              1.00 pm – 2.00 pm
              Lunch ǁ Exhibition Open

              2.00 pm – 4.00 pm
              Concurrent Sessions

              Room 1: Theme 1: Strengthening education and knowledge about Menstrual Health Management.
              Room 2: Theme 2: Addressing social norms, beliefs, stigma and discrimination incl. involvement of men and boys.
              Theme 3: Providing WASH and waste disposal.
              Room 3 Theme 4: Improving MHM in humanitarian settings.

              4.00 pm – 4.30 pm
              Break ǁ Exhibition Open

              4.30 pm – 5.30 pm

              Report back and discussion of recommendations and actions points from parallel sessions

              5.30 pm – 5.45 pm

              6.00 pm – 7.30 pm
              Cocktail Reception

              • Day 2
              8.00 am – 8.30 am
              Registration and Breakfast

              8.30 am – 10.30 am
              Concurrent Sessions

              Room 1: Theme 1: Linking practice to research.
              Theme 2: Ensuring sustainable financing.
              Theme 3: Expanding product availability.
              Room 2 Facilitator: Representative from private sector (TBC).

              10.30 am - 11.00 am
              Lunch ǁ Exhibition Open

              11.00 am - 12.00 pm

              Report back and discussion of recommendations and actions points from parallel sessions

              12.00 pm - 1.00 pm

              Leaving no one behind: MHM for the most marginalized and vulnerable groups

              1.00 pm – 2.00 pm Lunch
              Lunch ǁ Exhibition Open

              2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

              Addressing MHM through multi-sectoral policy making

              3.00 pm – 3.30 pm
              Break ǁ Exhibition Open

              3.30 pm – 4.30 pm
              Plenary: Call To Action

              Call to action: moving towards an integrated, multi-sectoral approach to menstrual health management - identifying priorities for menstrual health management in east and southern africa. Launch of regional coalition of menstrual health and management.

              4.30 pm – 5.00 pm

              MHM Videos
              Menstrual Health Management – Eliza Stewart

              Eliza Stewart, a 16-year-old school girl from Cape Town, South Africa, sells menstrual cups in her spare time. Listen to her talk about why she began using a menstrual cup, and the benefits to the environment.

              Managing Menstrual Health – Kim Windvogel

              Listen to Kim Windvogel, Co-Director of FEM Projects, discuss the nuances and emotions of experiencing the menstrual period.

              Managing Menstrual Health – Wes Leal

              Wes Leal, a 19-year-old university student, breaks the silence around people who menstruate but who are not women.

              Managing Menstrual Health – Zizipho Ntobongwana

              Zizipho Ntobongwana, MD of Sheba Feminine Hygiene, which produces biodegradable sanitaryware, talks about the power of the period and her first experience of menstruating.

              Menstrual Health Management – Zolani Mahola

              Zolani Mahola, lead singer of internationally renowned South African band Freshlyground, explains why menstruation for her is when she feels at the height of her feminine power.

              Menstrual Health Management – Siv Greyson

              Siv Greyson, a university student and non-binary transperson, explains why it would be exciting for her if there could be a shift in how people perceive bodies and what menstruating in that body can mean.

              Menstrual Health Matters
              • Naomi Maulana, scholar

                There is a special room here at school, arranged for us girls, where we (can) go and change the pads comfortably.

              • Towera Munthali, 29

                I used to spend 1,000 kwacha [$1.40] every month to buy sanitary pads, but with the menstrual cup, I don’t spend anything.

              • Given Mwira, 26

                When you are using the menstrual cup, you can do almost everything: run, do any sporting activity as well as attend classes.

              Hilton Hotel
              Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
              139-140 Rivonia Rd, Sandown, Sandton, 2031