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HomeEnvironment and ClimateThe Critical Link between Water Shortages and Menstrual Hygiene

The Critical Link between Water Shortages and Menstrual Hygiene

Women fetching water

The Critical Link between Water Shortages and Menstrual Hygiene

By Nomagugu Konke

Access to clean and sufficient water is essential for maintaining proper menstrual hygiene…” says Women4Water.

Team leader for Women4Water Movement, Caroline Mutimbanyoka says women and girls need water not only for drinking but also for washing and sanitation purposes during their menstrual cycles.

“Water shortages exacerbate these difficulties, making it nearly impossible for women and girls to manage their menstruation safely and with dignity.

The consequences are profound:

“Health Risks: Insufficient water for washing can lead to infections and other health issues. Poor menstrual hygiene management increases the risk of reproductive and urinary tract infections, which can have long-term health implications.

“Educational Impact: Many girls are forced to miss school during their periods due to inadequate water and sanitation facilities. This absenteeism contributes to higher dropout rates and limits their future opportunities.

“Economic and Social Implications: The inability to manage menstrual hygiene effectively can prevent women from participating fully in the workforce and community activities, perpetuating cycles of poverty and gender inequality.

“Dignity and Well-being: The lack of water and sanitation facilities infringes on women’s and girls’ dignity, causing stress and embarrassment, and perpetuating stigma and discrimination related to menstruation.

She also said Women4Water calls for immediate and sustained action to ensure that every woman and girl has access to the water and sanitation facilities they need.

“This includes investing in infrastructure, promoting education and awareness about menstrual hygiene, and ensuring that water management policies explicitly consider the needs of women and girls.

“By addressing water shortages and improving menstrual hygiene management, we can make significant strides toward gender equality, public health, and the empowerment of women and girls. Together, we can ensure that menstruation is no longer a barrier to a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life,” she said.

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