• Date
    28 - 29 May 2018
  • Location
    Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Tickets
  • Speakers
May 2018
  • 00
  • 00
  • 00
  • 00

28-29 MAY 2018

Menstrual Health Management Symposium

UNFPA, the South African Department of Women and partners held the first-ever 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 2018.

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.

Symposium Report

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

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

  • 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.