As part of its ongoing support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, leading global hygiene and forest products company SCA, in partnership with The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), a United Nations entity devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of the most vulnerable people around the world, announced the launch of a joint research report on hygiene practices worldwide, the Hygiene Matters report. The initiative was established by SCA in 2008 to raise awareness of the connection between hygiene, health and wellbeing.
The latest edition of the Hygiene Matters report, which was launched during a special side session of the 71st United Nations General Assembly today, is based on a survey with 12,000 respondents in twelve countries. The survey explores three themes: an economic perspective on the value of hygiene, a social perspective focused on taboos and stereotypes around hygiene and the role hygiene will play in social and economic development in emerging and developed markets in the future. The special side session during the General Assembly brought together stakeholders and influencers from around the world to provide recommendations for policymakers in both developed and developing countries to address hygiene challenges meaningfully and systematically. Since 2008, SCA has conducted a total of five surveys to gather insights about global hygiene perceptions, issues and behaviors to contribute to a knowledge-based public debate with the goal of improving hygiene for people everywhere and breaking taboos around incontinence and menstruation.
“SCA offers hygiene products that make life easier for millions of people around the world. We share our expertise and educate on the importance of good hygiene practices and engage in activities across the globe such as educating young women about menstruation and children about the importance of proper hand hygiene. In 2014, WSSCC and SCA started working together to break the silence on Menstrual Hygiene Management, a partnership that has evolved and now includes the entire human life cycle. Today, we’re announcing the next step in our efforts to raise hygiene standards globally,” said Magnus Groth, President and CEO, SCA.
“Partnerships are one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and by pairing WSSCC’s technical expertise on sanitation and hygiene issues in developing countries with SCA’s global brands, knowledge and commitment to sustainability, education and innovation, we will increase awareness around taboos surrounding personal hygiene and make a meaningful difference,” Magnus Groth continues.
At any given time, 800 million women are experiencing their period. Yet, even in the US, women face limited access to education, products, school and work environments that make it possible to participate fully in society when menstruating. According to the Hygiene Matters report, more than half of the female populations in the majority of countries surveyed say they feel uncomfortable in social situations when on their period – a discomfort that’s strongly connected to norms and social stigma.
“Public-private partnerships are essential to global progress related to personal hygiene,” said Amina Mohammed, chair of WSSCC. “By working together, we can more effectively inspire decision-makers and champions to act, whether on policy, practice or even advocating for hygiene.”
With the launch of the Hygiene Matters report, SCA and WSSCC continue a global conversation around hygiene issues and opportunities across organizations, sectors and countries, sharing successes and opening the dialogue on what is often an unspoken topic: personal hygiene.
Learn more: www.hygienematters.com
SCA is a leading global hygiene and forest products company. The Group develops and produces sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products. Sales are conducted in about 100 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and regional brands, such as Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. As Europe’s largest private forest owner, SCA places considerable emphasis on sustainable forest management. The Group has about 44,000 employees. Sales in 2015 amounted to approximately SEK 115bn (EUR 12.3bn). SCA was founded in 1929, has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. For more information, visit www.sca.com
About the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is at the heart of a global movement to improve sanitation and hygiene for everyone. WSSCC is the only part of the United Nations devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of the most vulnerable people around the world. Through a collaborative approach which has spanned 25 years, WSSCC has harnessed the energy and expertise of communities, NGOs, governments, international organizations and the private sector. Together with thousands of members in 150 countries, the Geneva-based Secretariat advocates for change and facilitates local solutions for the millions of people who lack access to good sanitation and hygiene.
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