Press Release 23 Feb, 2020, Kathmandu
International Workshop on Dignified Menstruation for Human Right and Empowerment
Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen and National Human Rights Commission in association with Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation (GSCDM) is organizing an international workshop on “Dignified Menstruation” in Kathmandu. With the main objective of changing the narrative on menstruation, the workshop targets to bring international researchers, activists and policymakers from more than 20 countries, representing all the continents. The three-day event is being organized to mark 2nd National Women’s Day with the slogan is “Menstrual Talk: Dignity First.” The conference is the first of it’s kind.
The three-day event features panels, paper presentations and discussion on the various area of menstruation including the topics like placing dignity at the centre of all interventions; breaking the taboos-mobility from kitchen to the parliament; health including sexual/reproductive health rights; voice, choice and agency; stigma and discrimination from menarche to menopause; role of youth, religion, business, water and sanitation, policy accountability, laws and menstruation with marginal communities, dignity in the discourse, gaps on funding and research among others.
Speaking at a press conference organised at the ministry on Sunday, Honourable Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen said, “to achieve substantive gender equality, it is important to understand menstruation with the lens of human rights.” He further said that the campaign of dignified menstruation was important to raise the awareness against bad practices associated with menstruation including “chhaupadi”. Minister Gurung further stated that taboos and stigmas associated with menstrual practices were one of the major reasons for almost all aspects of gender-based discrimination including physical, social, political, economic and psychological violence. These discriminations and violence are not limited within the household but also are largely found in offices, educational institutions, organizations and various communities across the country and beyond.
Radha Paudel, social activist and president of GSCDM, one of the co- organizers of the workshop stated that each menstruater deserve the dignity during menstruation as the virtue of human being”. She further added that leaving no one behind is the central promise of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2030 and “dignified menstruation” is a way forward toward achieving it. “Menstruation should no longer be an individual issue of a woman, it is the issue associated with basic human right, hence it should be everybody’s business,” she added.