May 28, 2024


By Legacy Award Recipient, Nafira Nayeem Ahmad from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Menstrual Hygiene Day, taking place annually on 28 May, is a global campaign that unites non-profits, governments, individuals, businesses, and the media intending to promote good menstrual health and hygiene. This year, we asked Legacy Award Recipient Nafira Nayeem Ahmad to share their thoughts on the day as well as discuss their non-profit organisation Amplitude.

Menstrual Hygiene Day

It's May! And apart from it being my oh-so-incredible birthday month, Gemini season, it is also the time for sizzling sunshine, juicy mangoes, and... wait for it... Menstrual Hygiene Day!

Now, be honest. Did you feel a little awkward there? It's okay, we all do sometimes. Periods are a natural part of life for over half the population, yet they can still feel like a secret whispered in the corner. This whole "period taboo" thing, no matter how prevalent, needs to stop. Think about it – how often do we hear guys (or even some women!) openly talking about periods? It's like a magic word that makes everyone uncomfortable. But here's the thing: periods are NORMAL! They're a sign of a healthy body, and yet, secrecy and shame often surround them.

Did you know that in Bangladesh, according to a 2019 survey, over half of schoolgirls only have a basic understanding of menstruation [1]? That means a lack of knowledge about proper hygiene, which can lead to health problems, missed school days, and even feeling totally alone. Imagine being a young girl completely unprepared for your first period. The fear, the confusion – it shouldn't be like that. Every girl deserves to feel confident and healthy during her period.

Do's and Don'ts of Menstrual Hygiene (@amplitude.db)

Painting Dhaka Red – Because Periods Are Powerful!

Here at the non-profit organisation Amplitude, we're tired of the period taboo. We believe periods are a source of strength, not shame. That's why, for the past three years, we've been rocking women’s day with our "Paint it Red" campaign.

Think of it like a superhero mission! We raise funds to provide a year's worth of menstrual hygiene products to underprivileged women and girls across Dhaka. Since 2021, we've helped hundreds manage their periods with dignity.

How Can YOU Be a Period Hero?

Did you know, YOU can be a part of the solution! It's not just about donating, although every bit counts! Here are some easy ways to be a champion for menstrual hygiene:

  • Be a Period Pro: Different products like pads, tampons, and menstrual cups exist, each with its own perks. Knowing about them can be a lifesaver (or period-saver?) for yourself and your friends.
  • Chill Out the Drama: Cramps, bloating, mood swings – they're all normal parts of the period experience. Talking openly about these with friends helps normalise periods and break down the stigma.
  • Hygiene 101: Keeping things clean is key to feeling fresh during your period. Wash your hands before and after changing products, change pads or tampons regularly (every 4-8 hours for tampons!), and dispose of them properly (wrap them in toilet paper and bin them, never flush!).
  • Be a Period Buddy: Periods can be tough. Lend a supportive ear to friends who are going through theirs. Offer a hot water bottle for cramps, run errands if they're feeling under the weather, or simply be there to listen.

We can create a world where periods are a normal conversation, not a shameful secret. Imagine a world where every child in school has access to the products they need, and every menstruating individual can manage their period with confidence. Let's paint the world red this May and celebrate periods for what they truly are – a powerful sign of a healthy body!

Want to learn more? Check out these amazing resources:

Menstrual Hygiene Day

WASH United

United Nations Population Fund

RELATED Blog Posts