Global Menstrual Health and Hygiene Collective's statement for the Commission on the Status of Women

WaterAid/Basile Ouedraogo

The Global Menstrual Health and Hygiene Collective has issued a statement in response to CSW 64 to call for greater attention and improved investment for comprehensive menstrual health, targeting those who are most marginalised. The statement has been endorsed by 34 organisations across the world.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. In 2020 the 64th session of CSW is particularly important because it launches the 25-year review of the Beijing Programme of Action (the foundational UN agreement on gender equality) and the Generation Equality process led by UN Women, in partnership with civil society, to identify where we still need to focus attention to achieve women’s rights and gender equality. Addressing menstrual health is a critical issue for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

On 9 March 2020, the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women convened an abridged procedural meeting and adopted the draft Political Declaration that welcomed the progress made towards the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, but expressed concern that overall, progress has not been fast or deep enough.

UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: “25 years after Beijing, we all recognize that progress on women’s rights has not gone far or fast enough. It’s 2020, yet no country has achieved gender equality and women continue to be squeezed into just one quarter of the space at the tables of power. Today, Member States have reaffirmed the Beijing Platform for Action, the progress and the gaps. Women and girls will hold them accountable as we work together for true and lasting equality and the full enjoyment of our human rights.”

Addressing menstrual health is a critical issue for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. WaterAid is a founding member of the Global Menstrual Health and Hygiene Collective which includes representatives from UN organizations, academia, government, funders, private sector, existing coalitions, advocacy groups, youth focused organizations, religious groups, independent consultants and international non-governmental organisations. The purpose of the Collective is to drive and guide investment in menstrual health and hygiene through evidence-based advocacy.

Read WaterAid's position paper on how WASH serves as a critical pathway to transforming gender relations and supporting women and girls as agents of change to lead healthy lives and participate in productive social, economic, and political activities.

For more information on the Global Menstrual Health Collective please contact the Coordination Team at [email protected].