SCA and WSSCC Partner to Break Silence around Menstruation
SCA, leading global hygiene and forest products company, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), the only United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of vulnerable and marginalized people, have today entered into an innovative new partnership to break the silence around menstruation for women and girls around the world. SCA and WSSCC will jointly work to educate on menstrual issues and the importance of good hygiene.
“A majority of adolescent girls and women in the world do not have access to adequate information about menstruation nor access to sanitation or hygiene products,” said Jan Johansson, President and CEO of SCA. “With the WSSCC partnership SCA aims to break the menstrual taboos that jeopardize the health of millions of women every day, raise the awareness of menstrual hygiene and empower women and communities to take action, as menstruation should not hold women back to participate fully in society socially, educationally and professionally.”
The parties announced the partnership in Cape Town, South Africa, in connection with Team SCA’s first stop-over in the Volvo Ocean Race round the world competition. During the Cape Town stop-over, Team SCA attended a menstrual hygiene workshop with girls and women from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu townships, where experts from WSSCC, the Volunteer Center (a Cape Town NGO), and SCA led a training session and discussion of the challenges that women face in managing their periods.
“Safe and hygienic menstruation is a basic human right and fundamental to women’s equality,” said Chris Williams, executive director of WSSCC. “Securing this right requires action at every level of society, from the girls and women of Khayelitsha and Gugulethu to multinational companies like SCA. I am proud that SCA has stepped up to the challenge, and I look forward to working closely with them to continue breaking the silence around menstruation.”
In many developing countries, millions of women and girls are left to manage their periods with solutions at hand, such as cloth, paper or clay and no access to private toilets, water or soap. Sanitary products like pads are unaffordable or simply unavailable, and urinary or reproductive tract infections are common. As a result, girls miss valuable days in school, and women are unable to work, stifling productivity and advancement. For example, a recent study of three high schools in South Africa found that a third of girls had missed school due to menstruation, while in Bangladesh, most employed women miss about six days of work each month.
Attached pictures from SCA and WSSCC menstrual hygiene workshop with girls and women from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu townships, Cape Town, South Africa.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is at the heart of the global movement to improve sanitation and hygiene, so that all people can enjoy healthy and productive lives. Established in 1990, WSSCC is the only United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people. In collaboration with our members in 150 countries, WSSCC advocates for the billions of people worldwide who lack access to good sanitation, shares solutions that empower communities, and operates the Global Sanitation Fund, which since 2008 has committed $97 million to transform lives in developing countries.