On Friday, May 14, 2021, members and partners of the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) gathered for an informal roundtable meeting in the lead-up to Menstrual Hygiene Day, held each year on May 28th.
The session was divided into two parts: one portion to offer communications and public engagement colleagues the opportunity to share their organization’s advocacy and communications plans for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021 – all with the understanding that we can generate greater momentum and amplify our collective advocacy when we work together and support each other.
The section part of the session gave space for programming and project leads to share stories and explore challenges and solutions around menstrual health and hygiene management, particularly in the context of COVID-19.
Communications & Advocacy
Ina Jurga from WASH United kicked off the session sharing the theme, more action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now!, and and hashtags for MH Day 2021: #MHDay2021 #ItsTimeForAction.
Members and partners then shared their communication and advocacy plans and activities as they prepare for MH Day and exchanged opportunities for other organizations to leverage their activities and digital materials on social media channels. Before, during and after the roundtable, members added their activities to this spreadsheet and they are encouraged to add any additional details in the days before May 28th. The intent is for CanWaCH members and partners to amplify each others’ work.
MH Programming Discussion
Connect with other MH programming and project leads by adding your contact information to this spreadsheet now!
Youth Engagement: There has been an increase in youth engagement which is important because they will become the ones who take over the work. Organizations want to ensure there is a succession plan in place.
Engaging Men and Boys: One of the big challenges remains how to engage boys and men. What are the specific strategies, insights or lesions that folks have to share and that are available beyond just comprehensive education.
More Connections: COVID-19 has allowed some organizations to focus on advocacy work, connect with partners more, and connect with each other more frequently.
Capacity to pivot: organizations were able to adapt lessons learned from country offices and partners to deliver programs, despite restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. Some organizations shifted their services to support healthcare workers at the frontline of the pandemic.