On August 26, 2022, researchers at the University of Beirut published a new study on menstrual health challenges in Lebanon during the severe economic crisis that has impacted the country over the past two years. Researchers interviewed stakeholders from the government, healthcare and nonprofit sectors to understand women’s menstrual health experiences. The study identified several specific ways that the economic crisis has impacted menstrual health management:
A lack of Ministry of Health budget allocation towards women's health means that period products have not been subsidized in the same way that other hygiene-related products have (like razor blades).
There is only one local producer of pads in Lebanon, and the raw materials used to make those pads are currently not subsidized. As a result, locally produced pads are as expensive as imported brands.
New challenges of water scarcity have impacted the ability of women and girls to properly use reusable products like cups or washable pads.
Interviewees shared that the result of these challenges has been significant:
Women are resorting to the use of makeshift products (such as old clothes or cotton).
Women and girls experience anxiety and shame about not having products and fear of stigmatization due to leakage.
Women and girls are missing days of school and work when they do not have products to manage blood flow and need to stay at home.
Women and girls are experiencing skin and genital infection from makeshift products or use of disposable products for longer than recommended, in order to stretch finances.
Days for Girls Lebanon is responding to these challenges among both Lebanese and refugee communities, working to ensure that women and girls in Lebanon are supported in managing their periods with safety, health, and dignity.
Recently, the DfG Lebanon team provided DfG washable pad kits and comprehensive menstrual health education to 40 Syrian refugee women and girls in Damour – about 20 km south of Beirut. Our partner who sponsored this distribution reported, “What we were hearing from the young girls and ladies that came for the teaching was that they did not have any education on their bodies and how beautiful it is to be a woman. After the teaching we were able to have the girls make menstrual bracelets that were so well received to help them understand how the menstrual cycle works day by day. Thank you for what you do for Days for Girls. It is very important to spread the news of this program and reach out to more girls with this teaching."
In total, DfG Lebanon has reached 2,100 women and girls this year. This would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our amazing donors. Thank you for your part in helping to insure dignity for women and girls in Lebanon.
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