ADRA Europe Initiative Addresses Menstrual Poverty

Inter-European Division

ADRA Europe Initiative Addresses Menstrual Poverty

According to the World Bank, an estimated 500 million women and girls globally lack access to adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management.

Humanitarian | Ulaya | Andreas Mazza

Every woman and girl deserves dignity, but not all enjoy this basic right. Some struggle. Every month, 500 million of them struggle, just because they bleed.

On March 8, 2023, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Together with multiple Women’s Ministries departments, ADRA Europe is launching the campaign “Full STOP to Period Poverty.”

Period Poverty Campaign

Many girls and women struggle every month during their periods. All those who menstruate, wherever they live, experience challenges when managing their periods. These might include a lack of products, toilets or disposal facilities, enduring pain, and being bullied or restricted from activities and locations. In high-income countries, these challenges are often referred to as “period poverty,” and in low-middle-income countries, as “poor menstrual hygiene management.” Nevertheless, the result is the same: A large proportion of the global population is disadvantaged by having a period.

Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, handwashing facilities, or waste management. Around the world, women who menstruate may be ostracized from basic activities, like eating certain foods or socializing. The cultural shame attached to menstruation and a shortage of resources can stop women from going to school and working every day. The World Bank estimates that 500 million women and girls globally lack access to adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management.

Photo: ADRA Europe
Photo: ADRA Europe

In Europe, ADRA and the Adventist Church are Involved

In March 2023, ADRA Europe and the Women’s Ministries departments of the Inter-European Division and the Trans-European Division launched the “Full STOP to Period Poverty” initiative. The campaign will inspire people to make washroom facilities “female-friendly.”

The Adventist faith community is invited to 1) make menstrual health products available in the restrooms of its facilities, such as ADRA offices, church buildings, schools, universities, church institutions, and others; 2) create “female-friendly spots”: spaces where menstrual health products will be free for those who struggle to afford them; 3) educate and talk about menstruation; 4) advocate for making menstrual products affordable; 5) partner with local communities to fundraise and collect funds.

To find more information and resources, please go here.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division website.