WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education: Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2013.
There is increasing interest in exploring and addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers facing schoolgirls and female teachers in educational settings. Around the globe, WASH in Schools (WinS) focuses on fostering social inclusion and individual self-respect – and addresses MHM as a key agenda. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, integrating MHM into WinS empowers all students, and especially encourages girls and female teachers.
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and UNICEF convened the Second Annual Virtual MHM in WinS Conference at UNICEF Headquarters in New York City on 21 November 2013. Building on recommendations from the MHM 2012 virtual conference, the 2013 conference focused on the research
tools and instruments being used to explore MHM barriers and practices and to evaluate the interventions being trialed or implemented in various contexts.
The one-day event brought together over 150 participants online, involving a range of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and MHM experts, global health and education researchers, social entrepreneurs and policymakers – from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, advocacy organizations and UNICEF country offices implementing MHM-related activities.
Using WebEx, 16 presentations were made from countries around the world, on a wide range of MHM research being conducted in educational settings. The presentations focused on: (1) the tools and and instruments utilized to explore MHM requirements of schoolgirls; and (2) the tools/instruments utilized for monitoring MHM interventions for schoolgirls.