External Paper Links
Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low-and middle-income countries

“The Crimson Wave” (2015) exemplifies the Beauty in Blood collection, my feminist, bioartography project that seeks to confront social taboos pertaining to menstruation and the female body through macrophotography of men strual fluid. I challenge the notion that menstruation is “gross,” “vulgar,” or “unrefined” through candid, real-life photos of my menstrual blood which force viewers to see and think about menstruation in an entirely new way. There is an abstract artistic quality when blood meets water that warrants a closer look not only by women but also by society as a whole. Capturing the artful quality of this natural occurrence is my way of progressing society’s view and conversation around menstruation as well as redefining some traditional fine art aesthetics. In my opinion, society’s squeamishness about menstruation is completely ridiculous considering its graphic consumption of bloodshed through vio lence in pop culture entertainment, that is, blood sports like boxing, hockey, and wrestling; video games like Call of Duty; shows and movies like Dexter and Twilight; and even the news media. Pacifying social taboos only serves to give more power to society than to the self, and as women we have done that for far too long. My work quashes this taboo, reclaims feminine power, and puts menstruation in the context it so rightly deserves. Creating each piece of work is a four-step process: media (aka blood/men strual fluid) collection, design layout (aka pouring), photoshoot, and finally photo selection. The images of menstrual fluid are obtained in two different manners. During the early stages, we captured images by mounting a cam era on a tripod and strategically angling it over the toilet bowl, so Rob, my husband, artistic collaborator and project photographer, could snap photos as soon as I poured the freshly collected menstrual fluid from my cup. After sev eral shoots and a desire to capture more dynamic imagery, we began shooting.

How Addressing Menstrual Health And Hygiene May Enable Progress Across The Sustainable Development Goals

There is increasing global attention to the importance of menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) for the lives of those who menstruate and gender equality. Yet, the global development community, which focuses on issues ranging from gender to climate change to health, is overdue to draw attention to how addressing MHH may enable progress in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To address this gap, we undertook a collective exercise to hypothesize the linkages between MHH and the 17 SDGs, and to identify how MHH contributes to priority outcome measures within key sectoral areas of relevance to menstruating girls in low- and middle-income countries. These areas included Education, Gender, Health (Sexual and Reproductive Health; Psychosocial Wellbeing), and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). These efforts were undertaken from February – March 2019 by global monitoring experts, together with select representatives from research institutions, non-governmental organizations, and governments (n = 26 measures task force members). Through this paper we highlight the findings of our activities. First, we outline the existing or potential linkages between MHH and all of the SDGs. Second, we report the identified priority outcomes related to MHH for key sectors to monitor. By identifying the potential contribution of MHH towards achieving the SDGs and highlighting the ways in which MHH can be monitored within these goals, we aim to advance recognition of the fundamental role of MHH in the development efforts of countries around the world.