Ending Period Poverty

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Menstrual Hygiene Day

On Menstrual Hygiene Day and every day, Anera is committed to addressing period poverty in Lebanon. Since 2014, civil society organizations around the world have chosen May 28 as an awareness day to call attention to the widespread challenges facing women and girls in accessing the knowledge and supplies they need to care for their own health.

#WeAreCommitted #ItsTimeForAction #MHDay2022

In 2019, some 45% of girls in refugee camps worldwide had inadequate access to menstrual products according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a whopping 63% didn’t have enough underwear. In Lebanon, such indignities have almost certainly become even more widespread since the economic collapse of the last two years.

To combat the period poverty that has become epidemic in Lebanon among vulnerable communities like the Syrian refugee settlements, Anera and its partners have been distributing washable pads, underwear, and other hygiene products. Reusable pads spare vulnerable young women and girls from the indignity of being forced to go without proper sanitary products at a time when disposable pads and most other imported items are now priced out of reach.

In the remote Syrian refugee camp in Arsal, Lebanon, Anera began promoting menstrual hygiene and health in early 2021 through our UNHCR-funded waste and recycling program.

We are also conducting the program in Palestinian refugee camps, hosting awareness and education sessions and distributing menstrual hygiene supplies.

In conservative, traditional societies, menstruation is rarely discussed and many girls do not learn accurate information about how to care for their own bodies. However, with these educational sessions, Anera is trying to break the cycle of silence, so that mothers in this and future generations understand the importance of educating their daughters.

Souad and daughter Najah
Souad and daughter Najah

Realizing the need, Anera’s program to address the garbage crisis pivoted to incorporate promotion of the proper disposal of single-use period pads, menstrual health education and period product access.

Israa, a volunteer with Anera’s program, says that “Because of the economic collapse and the insane rise in the prices of personal hygiene items for women, such as sanitary pads and others, they are no longer available to everyone, which can lead to serious health problems.”

Israa says that basic hygiene items have become too expensive for many vulnerable women and girls.

As an essential component of health and wellness for half the population, Anera now incorporates menstrual hygiene kits and supplies into all of it’s hygiene distributions, whenever appropriate.

To learn more, watch the video below for an engaging discussion of menstrual health issues facing women and girls in Lebanon with Anera’s Serene Dardari and Line Tabet Masri from Dawrati Lebanon.



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