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In 2024, Pandemic Periods will focus on ‘Levelling Up.  Levelling Up means creating opportunities for everyone across our movement, and for menstrual health to be integrated into global agendas, policies, and constitutions. 2024 is a poignant year for sexual and reproductive health, rights, and bodily autonomy, with the 30-Year Review of the Implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD and 10 years of Menstrual Hygiene Day. 

Pandemic Periods will continue to drive impact-orientated advocacy and policy discussions that will cement menstrual health’s place at global health and human rights forums. 

Because, although political progress has been made, menstruation still remains absent from several crucial human rights treaties, conventions, multilateral programmes, and government agendas. Furthermore, there is limited funding available to grassroots organisations and researchers. 

Our focus for 2024 will be to continue to move menstrual health out of the health space, and into the broader narrative around human rights, the workplace, and impact on society. We can achieve this by focusing on mainstreaming menstrual health and reproductive rights across global policies e.g. ILO C190. We will do this by mobilising allies and partners in places that are not associated with health directly – business, leisure, sport, and other areas of government.

Menstrual health is the gateway to broader sexual and reproductive health, rights, and bodily autonomy. We must socialise institutions and individuals to this ethos before we start to lobby for policy change. This will help generate buy-in and minimise pushback. It will also mobilise sustainable financing for the global movement and individual grassroots organisations. Pandemic Periods will advocate for sustainable financing for menstrual health at the 68th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women. We will also work closely with our partners, UN agencies, multi-laterals, and governments to prioritise menstrual health and the opportunities it affords! 

We will also continue to push the conversation beyond the provision of products alone – we need a systems approach that addresses all facets of menstrual health – access to water, sanitatiion and hygiene (WASH), municipal services to collect and dispose of waste, campaigns that address stigma and shame at work, home, society, and in education. 

In 2024, we have welcomed new Board Members from Malaysia, Morocco, the USA, and South Africa. The new Board will hold us accountable for the delivery of the ‘Levelling Up” programme, and will mentor our volunteers from over 30 countries. We are still focused on giving opportunities to early career individuals with a focus on low- to middle-income countries,  to ensure that their voices are being heard!

In 2024, The Global Youth Council (GYC) will adopt a dynamic and multifaceted approach to elevate youth’s menstrual health on a global scale. With a focus on education and inclusion, the GYC aims to integrate menstrual health into broader sexual and reproductive health initiatives. Through a comprehensive sexuality education campaign for youth, we will focus on making sexual and reproductive education accessible for youth globally. We will work towards disseminating information from reliable sources and doctors, we hope that youth has the necessary information on their biological processes, especially in menstrual health. The GYC plans to organize events around significant global conferences to amplify youth voices in the menstrual health discussions. Furthermore, the GYC intends to enhance its visibility and impact by leveraging social media platforms to share stories from youth across various cultures and make content available in multiple languages. 

As our movement grows to include representatives from Chile to India to Nigeria to Vietnam, we will support their learning, encourage them to share their experiences and offer them a platform to feed into the global menstrual health narratives. 

With our extensive reach, we recognise that despite our efforts, there are still many individuals we have not been able to capture. We firmly believe, however, that by joining forces, we can level up our impact because this is everyone’s issue. Whether you are spreading the word, advocating for improved policies within communities, or supporting organisations like Pandemic Periods, every single action matters. Together, we can shatter the silence and stigma surrounding menstrual health and make healthy menstrual health a reality for women, adolescent girls, transgender, and non binary people who menstruate.

We are Pandemic Periods, and it is time to level up! 

Dr Jennifer S. Martin, CEO, Pandemic Periods, Scotland Antonia Cañizares, Global Youth Council Chair, Pandemic Periods, Ecuador Karan Babbar, Board Member, Pandemic Periods, India
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