Lessons Learned from Tanzania’s Recent Menstrual Product VAT Flip Flop

In July 2018, the Tanzanian Government removed the VAT (“Value Added Taxes”) from disposable menstrual pads , joining a small group of countries that no longer tax these items. But just one year later, the government suddenly announced that it would be fully reinstating the tax. This post discusses some potential lessons to be learned for anyone working towards the elimination of female-focused taxes in their own countries.


HEADS UP on a Funding Opportunity: VGIF Opportunity Grants (applications due by July 26, 2019)

VGIF is offering a funding opportunity with a deadline of July 26, 2019 that may be of relevance to non-profit MHM organizations based in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and India. The grant totals $95,000 (distributed over six years), and is specifically designed to support small, community-based organizations led by women, focused on projects that improve the lives of women, girls, and non-binary or trans individuals.


IMHER ASKS: A video profile of Kasole Secrets, based in Tanzania

This first installment of the “IMHER Asks” series provides an introduction to the work of Kasole Secrets and Hedhi Salama, based in Tanzania. In this video, founder and CEO Hyasintha Ntuyeko briefly discusses her brand of disposable menstrual pads (Glory Pads), why she began working on the issue of menstrual hygiene in Tanzania in 2010, and what has been meaningful to her in doing this work.


Underwear-Optional Pad Innovation by The MoonCatcher Project

In this post, IMHER further drills down into the “no underwear” challenge faced by some low-income girls by examining an innovative pad design with a belt that allows girls without underwear to use a reusable pad. In a video created for IMHER, Ellie von Wellsheim of The MoonCatcher Project showcases their design, while also demonstrating the potential for IMHER to provide a platform for peer-to-peer idea-sharing across borders.


Is There Underwear Under There?

Many menstrual products and puberty education programs rely on the assumption that girls have underwear that they can wear during their periods. But to what extent is that a reasonable assumption? And what alternatives exist?

Dongas bicycle in scenic setting

Creative Advocacy: Adrian Dongus “Menstrual Cycling” as an MHM Advocate

Adrian Dongus is currently cycling across 14 countries – from Kenya to the Netherlands – to raise money for menstrual hygiene kits to be given to refugees. While few people are likely to have the exact set of interests, skills, and resources needed to take on a challenge of this nature, this example provides an opportunity for anyone involved in MHM work to think of creative ways that they might be able to combine their own personal interests and personal hobbies – or those of others they happen to know – with the work of bringing awareness to menstrual issues.

Girls in Uganda carrying an MH Day sign

Analyzing Menstrual Hygiene Day

Menstrual Hygiene Day is held annually on May 28. Since its inception five years ago, it has become an annual celebration and useful tool for MHM organizations, which tend to conduct a variety of community events (educational, fundraising, political, menstrual product distributions, etc.) on the day itself, and in the days leading up to it. This post provides an overview of Menstrual Hygiene Day, along with some tips for organizations to start thinking early about planning for it in 2020.

Auxillia Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe

Talking Politics: First Ladies as Issue Advocates

When considering the process of policy-making on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) issues, the roles of politicians, journalists, lobbyists, and interest groups tend to be the focus. Less often considered is the role of the wives of politicians, both national and local, as change-makers for female-focused policy, including issues pertaining to menstrual health. Here, we review the instrumental role of the wives of leaders, or “first ladies,” of several countries in keeping menstrual health on the political and media forefront.