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Najat suffered a traumatic birth injury, and nearly died, after her in-laws refused to take her to a hospital during labour. © National Midwives Association/UNFPA
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Najat knew the dangers of childbirth. But when her own needs clashed with her husband’s traditional ideas, she suffered in ways she could not have imagined.
Menstrual health is a serious, but overlooked, issue among vulnerable women. Refugees in Louva, Angola, receive UNFPA-distributed dignity kits, which include sanitary napkins, soap, laundry detergent and other essential hygiene supplies. © UNFPA/Tiril Skarstein
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A new report from Eastern and Southern Africa links shame and misinformation around menstruation to gender discrimination, child marriage, exclusion, poverty, violence and untreated health problems.
Faith Kiraison, an advocate for girls' rights and health, teaches her peers about menstrual health management. © UNFPA Kenya/Douglas Waudo
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“I felt embarrassed to be a girl and felt like it was a punishment,” recalled 13-year-old Faith, describing her first period. The Menstrual Health Management Symposium is taking aim at period shame.

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