RENEW and Ministry of Education collaborate to improve menstrual health management

Email

On May 11 2021, Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) and Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote adolescent sexual health and rights, and menstrual health management among girls and adolescents.

The MoU signed by RENEW and Ministry of Education aimed to combat sexual and gender-based violence, strengthen psychosocial support, and provide education on sexual reproductive health and rights. 

During the signing, education secretary, Karma Tshering, said that menstrual health management is aimed at improving outcomes on education, health, and gender equality for girls and women.

Under the MoU, one of the first projects is to distribute reusable sanitary napkins to schools and nunneries. As a pilot project, reusable sanitary napkins will be distributed to girls in Genekha Lower Secondary School and Khasadrapchu Middle Secondary School in Thimphu.

Her Royal Highness Ashi Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck joined the call for menstrual health management and graciously consented to be the Patron of Red Dot Bhutan.

Red Dot is a project under the Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNICEF & SNV to raise awareness on the menstrual challenges faced by women and girls, as well as seeking solutions to address the challenges. Ministry of Health, Save the Children (SCF), UNFPA work in close partnership with the ministry, while RENEW went aboard the project yesterday.

Under the Royal Patronage of Her Royal Highness Ashi Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck, Red Dot Bhutan endeavours to make menstrual mealth and hygiene a priority in the country.

Below is the message from the Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness Ashi Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck:

To raise awareness on the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to menstruation and highlights solutions to address these challenges, Bhutan started observing the Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2015.

Bhutan completed five years of observing Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2020, a milestone in our efforts to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene. As the country embarks on a new cycle of raising awareness and actions on menstrual hygiene management, I call on all to renew your efforts and support the efforts the Government and partners have been making towards menstrual hygiene.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated menstruation-related challenges women and girls face around the world and the need to address these challenges have become more urgent and pronounced. We have made good progress in ensuring access and availability of menstrual hygiene products and in destigmatizing the taboos around menstruation.

However, much needs to be done. 

Gender inequality, discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, poverty, and lack of basic services often cause girls' and women's menstrual health and hygiene needs to go unmet. These issues have far-reaching negative impacts on the lives of those who menstruate: restricting their mobility, freedom, and choices; affecting attendance and participation in school and community life; compromising their safety; and causing stress and anxiety.

We must understand and acknowledge that the onset of menstruation coincides with new opportunities - and vulnerabilities - that arise during adolescence. Menstrual health and hygiene interventions can be an entry point for other gender-transformative programmes during this period, such as sexual and reproductive health education and life skills development. By strengthening self-efficacy and negotiating ability, menstrual health, and hygiene programmes can help girls build the skills to overcome obstacles to theirhealth, freedom and development, such as gender-based violence, child marriage and school dropout. Investments in adolescent girls' well-being yield triple dividends: for those girls, for the women they will become, and for the next generation. 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are international human rights treaties that Bhutan is party to and are of particular relevance to menstrual health and hygiene. Understanding menstrual health and hygiene within this context requires a holistic approach to our women's and girls' wellbeing. The biological fact of menstruation, the necessity of managing menstruation, and a society's response to menstruation is all linked with women's and girls' wellbeing and gender equality. 

Women and girls' access to menstrual health and hygiene is also central to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The lack of basic knowledge about puberty and menstruation may contribute to early and unwanted pregnancy; the stress and shame associated with menstruation can negatively affect mental health; and unhygienic sanitation products may make girls susceptible to reproductive tract infections - all affecting SDG health outcomes.

Menstrual health and hygiene management is a national call to ensure the wellbeing of our girls and women. We need to sustain the progress made to date. We must ensure that the impacts of the on-going pandemic do not exacerbate menstruation-related challenges for our girls and women. We must ensure that all our menstrual facilities are inclusive. 

I call on all to join the call and together, we must ensure that our girls and women are able to manage their monthly menstrual cycle in a dignified and healthy way.

(Source: Gyalyum Charitable Trust)

Karma Tshering said HRH’s patronage will inspire, motivate and empower the team of Red Dot Bhutan and others to mainstream menstrual health management across the country and ensure the dignity of girls and women.

At the event, the United Nations Fund for Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, launched the State of World Population Report 2021 - 'My Body is My Own'.

Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, goodwill ambassador of UNFPA, launched the report. 

The report calls upon institutions and leaders to extend support and resources required for individual rights and choices to be carried out in a meaningful way.



Related Posts

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other...

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable...

May 12, 2020 16:46

6 reasons to get your very own 'Bhutan: Travelog'

A book that will tell you everything you need to know, see, taste, do, and enjoy in Bhutan? Take my money!

Jun 16, 2021 12:37

What are the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts?

“Were I to epitomise Bhutanese art with one word, that word would be colour... The attention to detail, the symmetry of...

Jun 09, 2021 11:17

Not only is Bhutan carbon negative, Bhutan is leading the world’s...

The environmental conservation efforts in Bhutan is a role model to the world.

May 22, 2021 11:48

6 popular beverages to enjoy in Bhutan

From butter tea to different types of alcohol, Bhutan has something for everyone.

May 11, 2021 10:54

Latest

News

The sacrifice of an extraordinary King in these difficult times

“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden

Jun 14, 2021 16:57

Bhutan is hopeful of lifting restrictions on tourism after second dose of COVID-19 vaccination

It’s been 9-week since the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Bhutan.

Jun 04, 2021 13:20

Features

6 reasons to get your very own 'Bhutan: Travelog'

A book that will tell you everything you need to know, see, taste, do, and enjoy in Bhutan? Take my money!

Jun 16, 2021 12:37

What are the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts?

“Were I to epitomise Bhutanese art with one word, that word would be colour... The attention to detail, the symmetry of figures…and above...

Jun 09, 2021 11:17

Business

Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans

Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the incredible...

Mar 25, 2021 12:09

Authentic Bhutanese Souvenirs from Eastern Bhutan

Every district and village produce distinct products in Bhutan. To encourage rural communities to produce more authentic souvenirs and...

Dec 25, 2020 22:13

Sports

What's with the unique archery culture in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, archery is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. The dancing, the singing, the drinking—it is a manifestation of the...

Apr 19, 2021 10:40

Contributing to the country through the love for football

It's been a month since the conclusion of Bhutan Premier League 2020. Daily Bhutan interviews Paro FC to find out more about the club. Below...

Dec 21, 2020 17:05

Travel

Bhutan is the perfect destination for luxury travel

The definition of 'luxury travel' has changed because of COVID-19.

Jun 01, 2021 18:32

8 most popular festivals in Bhutan that you should check out

Bhutanese festivals are colourfully vibrant affairs that draw crowds from all over the world.

May 14, 2021 17:15

Lifestyle

What are some of the Bhutanese beliefs and superstitions

For a country deeply rooted in spirituality, you will find Bhutanese especially the Buddhist rely on astrology for major events in life....

May 25, 2021 11:17

Khata: The multipurpose Bhutanese scarf

“Khatas are the Buddhist equivalent of a hallmark card.” —Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming

Apr 29, 2021 10:53

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!