TOP COMMENTS

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“ It looks like no one wants to talk about it in the comment section either. :-) ”

Good LawyerNPRTuesday, June 16, 2015 6:10 PM


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“ I don't want to talk about it but it's a real eye-opener for me. I had never considered such a (seemingly) banal but excruciatingly important problem that must be. How do you answer at the dinner table what your thesis is? ;-P ”

B MNPRTuesday, June 16, 2015 6:47 PM


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“ What I'm about to say might come across as know-it-all-ish, but this is exactly why we need women in organizational roles for developing countries. Reproductive health and menstrual hygiene just aren't on men's radars, and poorer women suffer for that. ”

MeghanJill NPRTuesday, June 16, 2015 10:28 PM

NPR2015-06-18T23:34:39.000Z

When Elynn Walter walks into a room of officials from global health organizations and governments, this is how she likes to get their attention:

"I'll say, 'OK, everyone stand up and yell the word blood!' or say, 'Half of the people in the world have their period!' "

It's her way of getting people talking about a topic that a lot of people, well, aren't comfortable talking about: menstrual hygiene.

Walter is an activist whose mission is to improve hygiene in low-income countries. She works with the group WASH Advocates (WASH stands for "water, sanitation and hygiene"). Her issue is critical. Across the developing world, tens of millions of girls face major difficulties managing their monthly period. According to UNICEF, more than half the schools in the poorest countries lack private toilets. And unlike teenage girls in well-off countries, many in the developing world can't afford (or even find) tampons and pads.

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