Though menstruation is a natural part of life for more than half the world’s population, half a billion girls and women still lack the support they need to manage their periods safely and confidently. The costs to women, their families, and society are enormous and entirely unsustainable, even as access to information about menstruation, to sanitary menstrual products, and to facilities where menstruation can be managed in privacy, are instrumental to success in school and at work. The availability of menstrual care materials alone has been found to reduce absenteeism from work by 21 percent while increasing school participation and improving learning outcomes. And long-standing stigmas and taboos around menstruation are found even in countries that have attempted to address this issue with policies dedicated to menstrual health and hygiene.

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