A University of East London academic who campaigns and researches on dignity and menstrual health has broadly welcomed plans to make the issue on of the health priorities for 2024.
Meera Tiwari, Associate Professor in International Development Studies, said that there was much work to do in the UK, as well as globally, to ensure that good menstrual health is both understood and available to all women and girls. Her research shows that greater support and information would tackle widespread myths and taboos on the subject and menstrual health should be a societal concern, not a women’s concern only.
On 17 January, Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins unveiled the Women’s Health Strategy annual priorities at a Women’s Health Summit. She announced that “problem periods” were a top priority for the NHS and wider care sector. She unveiled plans for more support for menstrual health at women’s health hubs as well as new guidance for healthcare professionals. She also announced that the Office for National Statistics would investigate the impact of period problems on women’s participation and progress at work.
As part of her research work, Dr Tiwari, Director of Impact and Innovation at the School of Education and Communities, has spent time in rural communities in India to explore the barriers and challenges women face in relation to menstrual health and recently hosted a conference exploring the issue. Her findings and the dignity framework have been adopted by organisations in the UK (Student wellbeing team, UEL), Naandi Foundation, India and RP Foundation, Nepal.