Pedal power! Join our Menstrual Cycle this Menstrual Hygiene Day
We’re celebrating periods with a brand-new bike challenge this May
28 May is one of our favourite days of the year. It’s Menstrual Hygiene Day – a chance to celebrate girls, women and menstruators everywhere, and to smash some of the stigma that still surrounds periods.
And this year, we have something new and exciting to celebrate too!
We’re hosting our first-ever Menstrual Cycle on London’s South Bank. It’s an all-day event, where members of the public will compete head-to-head on stationary bikes, cheered on by our MC, as they complete a Menstrual Cycle.
When: Tuesday 28 May, 9.30am – 6pm
Where: Gabriel’s Wharf, Observation Point, South Bank, London
Join Team Menstrual Cycle
Join us on the day and as well as taking part, you’ll have the chance to:
- meet Dr Dawn Harper, who’ll be on hand to answer any questions you have about periods
- talk to our youth ambassadors and discover how they’re tackling period taboos around the world
- take a photo at our selfie stand with an array of amazing period-inspired props.
It’s time to talk periods
The shame and stigma surrounding periods are having a serious impact on girls’ health, education and wellbeing.
Our latest survey of 1,000 UK girls aged 14 – 21 reveals:
- One in five (20%) have experienced teasing or bullying around their periods.
- Only half (49%) told anyone about what they'd experienced.
- Two thirds (66%) report missing a part day or full day of school because of their period, with reasons including anxiety about their period (28%) and embarrassment (19%).
‘I didn’t go back to school for two months’
In Uganda, 18-year-old Pauline got her first period at school three years ago – and had no idea what was happening to her. She’d never been told about periods, so she was horrified to find blood on her skirt in front of her classmates.
“The boys started laughing at me and I felt ashamed,” she remembers.
Today, she's working with young people to challenge the negative beliefs surrounding periods, which lead many girls to drop out of school in Uganda.
Creating global change
For things to truly change, it’s vital that girls and menstruators everywhere have access to high quality education about their menstrual health, to decent toilets and clean water, and to the products they need to manage their periods with confidence.
That’s why we’re working with schools like Pauline’s to create menstrual hygiene management clubs, where girls and boys can learn about periods and make reusable sanitary pads for the girls to take home.
It’s why we’re constructing girl-friendly toilets in schools and communities and increasing access to sanitary products, so girls can manage their periods with choice and in privacy.
And it’s why, in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, we’re providing essential dignity kits, which include sanitary products for girls and women.
Breaking the barriers in the UK
Meanwhile, here in the UK, we've taken the findings from Break the Barriers, our first-of-its-kind report documenting UK girls’ experiences of their periods, and created a Menstrual Manifesto – the six things we all need to make happen to transform girls' experiences of their periods.
We’re delivering Let’s Talk. Period, a project committed to ending period poverty in England.
And, thanks to your incredible support, we’ve had two amazing campaign wins: healthy periods will become a compulsory part of the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum by 2020, and a blood drop emoji will soon be appearing on phones and keyboards everywhere, enabling everyone to use one of the fastest growing global languages to talk about periods.
We’re making great progress. But we’ve still got a long way to go before periods are part of our everyday conversations.
That’s why we can’t wait for the Menstrual Cycle, so we can start tackling the taboo – and involving everyone in the conversation about periods.
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