JENdA: Journal of Culture and African Women Studies, (20) 2012
The Gendered Nature of Schooling in Ghana: Hurdles to Girls’ Menstrual Management in School
Marni Sommer, Nana Mokoah Ackatia-Armah
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This article explores girls’ voiced experiences of menstruation and schooling in rural and urban Ghana. The study was conducted in the Greater Accra Region (rural and urban) and the Tamale-Tolon-Kumbungu Districts of Northern Ghana. These regions are predominantly populated by the Ga-Dangme, and the Dagbani. The major aim of the study was to better understand the intersection of menarche, menstrual management and schooling for pubescent girls in Ghana, in order to adapt a Tanzania’s girl’s puberty book to the Ghana context.
The methodology included a comparative case study using participatory research with adolescent girls in and out of school. The research highlighted the significant gap in girls’ understandings around menstrual onset and overall pubertal body changes, along with aspects of the school physical and social environment that create barriers to girls’ successful attendance and participation during monthly menses. The findings highlight the importance of girl-focused approaches to developing guidance for healthy transitions through puberty.