Happy Flow Campaign: The Role of Men

Menstrual hygiene matters are not only matters for women. Menstrual hygiene affects everyone in it’s own way. It doesn’t only affect women, as some men and other gender nonconforming individuals menstruate too. Men must play a role in breaking menstrual stigma and taboos, normalising periods among other men, and creating safe spaces for people to menstruate safely and with access to the menstrual hygiene management products they need.

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As men we are raised up to not be concerned about women’s issues. Menstruation being among the major taboo topics. It’s mostly ignored almost as if it’s a phenomenon in a land far, far away and if it were to come up then spoken of in hushed tones. I think men must be part of these conversations, because ignoring menstrual health matters perpetuates societal denial of girls and women’s rights and ignores the role men can play in promoting access.


Robert Aseda – Kenya
#HappyFlowMonday #Menasallies

During Menstruation some women and girls experience pain during the days before a period, while others have dysmenorrhea during the period. As menstruation tapers off, the pain generally does, too. Some women experience both dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia, or excessive blood loss. As men it’s important to offer moral and psychological support to women and girls during the menstruation period. The key is to normalize menstruation so that Men become Allies in this important human event. As men we have a role to end taboos that fuel stigma during menstruation for women and girls, and by doing this we create safe spaces for women and girls to contribute to our social development. Men’s involvement as allies to menstruation means that girls and women will live in healthier environments. When men are part of the solution for menstrual health management, we as a community will have confident adolescents, safety for girls and women, dignity, privacy, better school attendance and learning outcomes, greater mobility and opportunities and eventually delayed marriage, age of first conception and greater self-determination and well-being. Let us make a choice, let the choice be the right one! A choice to become Men allies to Menstruation.

#SRHRMovementBuilders


Michael Marwa – Tanzania

Women have been menstruating since the creation of the first woman on earth. Why have we not been supporting menstruation? Is it simply because we live in a patriarchal world where the needs of women are not prioritised and instead men are considered more important and women are expected to be subservient? We as men can never forget that the process of menstruation every month is the process through which we have been conceived and delivered. Men enter this world through a vagina. If it was not for a vagina we would not be here today.

It’s not a woman’s menstruation it becomes our menstruation.


Ashwell Forbes – Namibia

Engendered men are not endangered! As men we need to take an active role as allies to bring the menstruation rights & dignity conversation higher up the development agenda in the home & community. It’s in the national & global interest to show that menstruation matters as we strive for equality, dignity, period! #MenstruationMatters #HappyFlow #ExpectRespect


Thabisani Ncube, Country Director, The Foundation for Tomorrow – Tanzania
Menstruation isn’t a choice, it’s women’s physiology, a sign of normality. It’s important for men to be involved as they’re affected too by menstruation Hygiene matters. Hand in hand with women, we have to give abiding help with actions to improve menstrual hygiene. Actions speak louder than words! It’s not a taboo, it’s normal. Let’s try find solutions to end menstruation stigma.
I hope to see Africa out of taboo, discrimination or refusal of access to some services because of menstruation.
#Endmenstruationtaboo #Expectrespect


Romeo Irankunda – Burundi
To realize sustainable gains in the quest for a free and safe menstrual flow for all, there is need to identify and clearly outline the role of young boys and men but more importantly report on boys and young men in the community that are doing well to facilitate a safe menstrual flow for our young girls and women as role models.


Joseph Njowa – Zimbabwe
Boys and men have an equal stake in breaking the silence on menstruation. Our silence, mostly perpetrated by myths, misconceptions and taboos costs us the bright future we deserve: a future enjoyed by both males and females. As lets create a world in which every woman and girl is empowered to manage her menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame, where no woman or girl is limited by something as natural and normal as her period. We are calling all men and boys to loin us as we break the silence, raise awareness and change negative social norms surrounding MHM around the world. Poor menstrual hygiene caused by a lack of education on the issue, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermines the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world. As a result, millions of women and girls are kept from reaching their full potential.
Lets engage decision-makers at global, national and local levels to increase the political priority for MHM and catalyze action. Let’s challenge ourselves to do the “unimaginable” and boldly engage in conversations about menstruation in our societies.


Stephen Chilobwa – Zambia