Call to be sensitive to hygiene needs
TIRUCHI: The Trichy Declaration on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) made here recently at a meeting of various stake holders requested the Central and State Governments to incorporate MHM as a part of sanitation policy and initiate action plans to promote it in the programmes of all line departments.
The 10-point Tiruchi Declaration was considered a methodology to improve the menstrual hygiene practices for the health and dignity of women.
It was declared at the meeting that November 27 will be observed as ‘International Female Hygiene Day’ every year.
The declaration was a follow up to the UNICEF-sponsored workshops organised during June and September this year by the Department of Women’s Studies, Bharathidasan University.
The Declaration emerged directly from the past experiences of Women on Unhygienic Menstrual Practices and represents the first global expression of rights to which all people who are sensitive to the issues of women have the right and duty to act, according to the Director of the Department of Women’s Studies Manimekalai.
The declaration called upon all people to be sensitive to female hygiene needs and lend their support as a matter of right and duty for planning, implementation, management and monitoring of menstrual hygiene related issues in a scientific manner without any indecent portrayal.
The imperative need for mainstreaming menstrual hygiene by breaking away the myths and taboos and the culture of silence was considered prominent in the declaration.
Christened Tiruchi Declaration, the ten-point agenda focussed on enhancing the status of the ‘girl child’ by integrating health, hygiene and education at all levels; ensuring availability of ‘girl friendly’ and women friendly toilets at schools, work place and public places with adequate water supply, hand washing facilities, access to hygienic napkins and proper disposal mechanisms; strengthening and reorienting organisations like Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and Village Education Committee (VEC) effectively to monitor and enhance/maintain the ‘girl and child friendly toilets’. The purpose was to infuse a realisation that such facilities are a right under rule of law.
The meeting called upon supervisors and inspectors who visit educational institutions to monitor and inspect the toilets before visiting other infrastructure and ensure that proper education is imparted in schools on integrated health and hygiene practices.
One of the declarations also emphasised on the need to sensitise media to provide proper and positive information to the public on the importance of MHM.
The stake-holders intend to present the Declaration to the Central and State Governments for implementation. They have launched a network of NGOs and Government Departments working on “Enhancing and Sustaining the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) among women and girls’ for the purpose.