Call to Action to Accelerate Menstrual Justice for All by 2030
We, as young leaders, civil society organizations, researchers, policy makers, and advocates working on menstrual health, came together at Women Deliver 2023 with a shared mission: to take urgent and collective action, ensuring the critical progress made on gender equality keeps moving forward. Our goal is to catalyse rapid and meaningful advancements in the years ahead.
We must keep supporting grassroots movements and initiatives that break down and change the unfair power structures that push gender equality issues to the sidelines, keep them isolated, or prevent them from being heard. Menstrual Justice is a cross cutting issue that is fundamental to gender equality, and when addressed holistically, can catalyse systemic, transformative progress towards gender equality.
At this pivotal moment we must identify, inform and invest in these powerful levers of change to reverse the disheartening global trends taking us further from our shared dream of a gender equal world.
We call on the global community of gender equality stakeholders, including government, philanthropies and civil society to recognise and uphold the right of all people to realise their full potential, unhindered by inadequate support for their menstrual health*.
To accelerate progress we call for:
- Recognition of and investment in menstrual health as a catalytic lever for change at the intersection between gender, race, economic, and climate inequalities.
- Adoption of a feminist lens in policies, programming, and financing related to gender equality, enabling prioritization of menstrual justice interventions that explicitly transform harmful, inequitable power structures, gender norms, roles, menstrual related stigma and discrimination.
- An integrated approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights that positions menstrual health as the essential first step on the sexual and reproductive health journey, and addresses menstrual health across the life course.
- Centering the voices of lived menstrual experiences in all programs and policies.
- Inclusion of all people in conversations and initiatives to end menstrual injustice, including people with disabilities, the LGBTTQIA+ community, and people in humanitarian settings.
- Increased investments in grassroots movements creating long-term social norm change at the local and country levels, and advocacy movements that create policy change at sub-national, national, and global levels.
- Increased efforts and investment in creating space (physical and digital) for building collective power, including knowledge sharing and creating shared understanding of menstrual health and its interlinkages.
- Expanded efforts to undertake coordinated global, national, and local progress tracking of the components of menstrual health, including awareness, access to menstrual materials and water sanitation and hygiene facilities, menstrual disorders, supportive social environment and health impacts, as well as the impact of menstrual health interventions, while simultaneously making the data grounded and accessible at the grassroots to inform advocacy at all levels.
Gender Equality cannot exist without Menstrual Justice for all.
We invite everyone, across stakeholder groups and sectors, including men and male leaders, to be part of this change and to join us in this call. More than ever, we must unite and take collective action for Menstrual Justice For All, advancing towards a Gender Equal world.
*Menstrual health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in relation to the menstrual cycle (Hennegan et al, 2021)