Sanitation and hygiene are key issues for women, consistent with their need for privacy, dignity and self-respect. When it comes to menstruation, despite the fact that despite this being a healthy biological process, the issue of menstruation is approached with hesitance and misinformation because of deeply–rooted cultural taboos. Honourable Minister of State, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India.
The National Guidelines on Menstrual Hygiene Management was released by Honorable Minister of State, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, on December 22, 2015.
Positioned within the Swachh Bharat Mission, the National MHM Guidelines give a clear direction on the way forward on how to address every component of the issue ranging from, but not limited to, raising awareness, addressing behavior change, creating a demand for better hygiene products, capacity building of frontline community cadre, sensitization of key stakeholders, convergence needed for effective outreach and intervention, creation of WASH facilities including safe disposal options, etc.
The guideline is in three parts, the ‘Main Guideline’; a series four ‘Action Guides’ that describe what each key stakeholder must do, why and how; and ‘Technical Guides’ for more technical aspects of the MHM programing.
The Main Guideline clearly gives an overview of the issue stating relevant facts and figures, defines a programming framework for MHM, and identifies the role of various departments and stakeholders.
The Action Guides and Technical Guides are to substantiate the vision laid down in the main guidelines. These outlines a roadmap for MHM programming, key actions for states and district bodies and various officials from the different line departments. The Technical Guides, in particular, provide specific inputs for creating an effective communication intervention, while also enabling the choice of the most suitable disposal option of menstrual waste, for the users and decision makers.
These guidelines represent an urgent call for a more integrated thought and actions, across departments, and also integrates experiences and learnings from various good practices across the country.
Download National Guidelines Menstrual Hygiene Management