Life Style

Explainer: What is Dignity Ministry?

What exactly is a set of dignity? Following on the heels of Menstrual hygiene daymarked every year on May 28, here are five quick facts:

1. What is the Ministry of Dignity?

Responding to emergencies, United Nations agencies act quickly to reach those in need, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA. Part of what these and other aid organizations do to help is to distribute basic necessities to maintain the health and dignity of women and girls. Many of these are included inside containers called dignity kits.

Dignity kits include the basic items women and girls need to protect themselves and maintain hygiene, respect and dignity in the face of disasters, war and crises. another panic.

These items are all placed inside an easy-to-carry backpack or bucket.

Girls affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza receive care and protection packages distributed by UNICEF.

Girls affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza receive care and protection packages distributed by UNICEF.

2. What’s inside?

UNFPA’s Dignity Kits vary across communities. The basic set contains 10 essential items.

The kit can also be customized with 39 different items. For example, in some settings they may include headscarves.

Typically, they contain menstrual pads, bath soap, multiple pairs of underwear, laundry detergent, tampons, flashlights, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and combs.

Each of these items addresses the specific needs of women and girls in communities around the world.

Contents of UNFPA's document on dignity.

Contents of UNFPA’s document on dignity.

3. Why is menstrual support important in times of crisis?

All menstruating women and girls need basic supplies. However, in times of crisis, these needs are often pushed aside.

So the United Nations’ emergency aid operations stepped in to provide them with basic necessities. That includes war zones, communities affected by natural disasters and refugee camps. In these crisis situations, access to basic goods and services is affected, so the United Nations tries to meet those needs.

Providing menstrual support can promote health, reduce gender-based violence, and more. Read UNFPA’s explanation of the five key reasons why This.

Learn more about how UN agencies help women and girls in war-torn Gaza in the video below:

4. How do you get a set of dignity?

UNFPA and UNICEF stock dignity kits in their humanitarian warehouses.

For example, UNFPA supplies can be delivered anywhere in the world within 48 hours.

UNICEF, which maintains the world’s largest warehouse of humanitarian goods in Denmark, has kits on hand, ready to be distributed to areas affected by the crisis.

The United Nations never charges humanitarian aid beneficiaries. So dignity kits along with other emergency assistance are free.

See how UNFPA is reaching out to women and girls affected by the deadly 2023 earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria below:

5. End ‘period poverty’

Key to the United Nations’ efforts to address the needs of menstruating women and girls is to raise awareness while preventing so-called “menstrual poverty.”

United Nations Women defines menstrual poverty as “the inability to afford and access menstrual products, hygiene facilities, and education and awareness to manage menstrual health.” This is due to stigma, high cost of menstrual products and lack of water and sanitation facilities.

Ending stigma around menstruation is part of a United Nations effort to raise awareness in communities around the world, from Gambia to Nepal.

Watch this explainer video from UNFPA Nepal, with English subtitles, about dignity kits below:


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