Department of Women hosts symposium on Menstrual Health Management in East and Southern Africa, 28 to 29 May

South Africa hosts first regional Menstrual Health Management Symposium

The Department of Women together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will co-host the first ever symposium on Menstrual Health Management in East and Southern Africa.

The symposium is to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on 28- 29 May 2018 and it will bring together about 200 representatives from national governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organisations, donors, United Nations agencies, private sector organizations, youth-led organizations and social entrepreneurs.

The Minister of Women in the Presidency, Ms. Bathabile Dlamini and the UNFPA Regional Director, Dr Julitta Onabanjo, will officially open the symposium and be joined by the Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, Minister of Small Business, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu and Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms. Pam Tshwete.

Maintaining health and hygiene during menstruation by providing girls and women with the necessary information, supplies and facilities required to manage their menstruation is important for girls and women’s health, well-being, mobility, and dignity.

Yet, many girls and women in East and Southern Africa, especially those who live in poor areas and those that have been displaced or affected by emergencies, do not have access to appropriate information and menstrual health and management facilities and products that are accessible, effective, comfortable, convenient, affordable and safe to use.

As a celebration of womanhood, the symposium aims to change the narrative, break down taboos and build positive social norms around the subject, as the onset of puberty and the menstruation cycle is a fundamental and healthy aspect of girls and women's very existence.

The purpose of the symposium is therefore to strengthen commitment, to move from research to action, and to demonstrate innovative, sustainable and scalable models to address the menstrual health management needs of adolescent girls and women in in East and Southern Africa. 

The expected outcomes of the symposium include strengthened policy, programme and financial commitment on programmatic priorities to address challenges related to menstrual health management in Africa. A regional coalition on menstrual health management will also be launched.

Date: 28-29 May 2018
Time: 8h30
Venue: Hilton Hotel, 139-140 Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.

For more information or inquiries, please contact:
Philile Ntuli
Department of Women
Tel: 012 359 0271
Cell: 071 467 7072

Mr. Adebayo Fayoyin
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
Tel. 011 603 5308; 
Cell: 079 517 0320

To learn more about the Menstrual Health Management Symposium, visit:

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