Essity and UNICEF in Mexico have entered into a new agreement to jointly promote awareness of the importance of good hand hygiene and to break the taboos around menstruation. Over the next three years, the collaboration will provide education to 4,000 pupils and 500 teachers in Mexico City and Chihuahua about attitudes and habits in connection with menstrual hygiene management and hand washing.
The project is called Hygiene is our right, and highlights the rights of children and young people in relation to health, education and gender equality. The shortage of water and hygiene facilities in schools may contribute to higher absenteeism and poorer school results. According to UNICEF*, 43% of girls and adolescents in Mexico point out that during their period they prefer to stay at home than go to school. A national survey** shows that one in five schools lack adequate washrooms and 58% lack water.
“With Hygiene is our right we will work with breaking taboos surrounding menstruation and address issues around good hand hygiene, which will increase well-being and equality in schools and society. We will now continue to help improve hygiene routines among children and young people together with UNICEF in Mexico,” says Joséphine Edwall Björklund, Senior Vice President, Communications at Essity.
Essity and its feminine care brand in Mexico, Saba, have collaborated with UNICEF in Mexico since 2016 to increase dialogue about menstruation and hygiene issues among young people in the country. This collaboration has reached 7.5 million people via various channels in Mexico. The Essity brands Saba and Tork are participating in the new collaboration.
* Study of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices on Water (CAP), Sanitation and Hygiene in elementary and secondary schools of the states of Chihuahua, Guerrero, Chiapas and Oaxaca.
**Survey by the National Institute for Education Evaluation (INEE) 2014