It's time for women and girls to speak about their periods

Updated 0430 GMT (1230 HKT) October 3, 2018

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CNN is committed to covering gender inequality wherever it occurs in the world. This story is part of As Equals, a year-long series.

Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nigeria's former Minister of Environment. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

If we are to achieve true gender equality, we need to tackle everything that contributes to the discrimination and marginalization of women -- including menstruation.
While menstruation is the most natural thing in the world, it often keeps girls out of school and the workplace, with devastating consequences that can last generations.
Menstruation is, was or will be a reality for half of the world's population. Yet, it remains a taboo subject with an enormous impact on the life chances of women and girls everywhere.