WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014

Issue 147 | May 23, 2014 | Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Day

This issue highlights Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, 2014. The idea for Menstrual Hygiene Day started in May 2013 when WASH United pioneered May #MENSTRAVAGANZA. This was a 28-day social media campaign cycle dedicated to generating awareness around menstruation and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) as important considerations within water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development initiatives. mhd

Resources in this issue include a MHM toolkit by the SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) Project in Zambia, links to the Menstrual Hygiene Day website, fact sheets, events, and other resources.


May 28, 2014 – Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014. | Website | Fact Sheets | Toolkit |Global Myths & Taboos | Events & Celebrations |
The mission of Menstrual Hygiene Day is to help break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential.

August 12–14, 2014 Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference, Kampala, Uganda. (Link)
Join NETWAS Uganda and partners for this exciting event and learn about practical approaches and tools to achieve healthier, affordable, and better results in menstrual management in schools, institutions, and communities.  The aim of the conference is to promote menstrual management awareness and advocacy. The primary target audiences are the different partners that want to see menstrual management concerns addressed both at institutional and community levels.


Waterlines January 2015 – Call for Papers on Menstrual Hygiene Management and WASH in Schools. (Link)
This edition of Waterlines, coordinated with the help of UNICEF, will cover steps to improve women’s menstrual management in their everyday lives and in humanitarian situations; and it has a special focus on girls menstrual management. The copy deadline is August 1, 2014.


Menstrual Hygiene Management Mini-Toolbox for Teachers and Schools in Zambia, 2014. SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) Project. (Link)
This toolkit was designed to help classroom and guidance teachers, and other school personnel in Zambian primary schools who are carrying out MHM programs or activities in their school. As MHM becomes more established in schools more and better tools will be developed and added to the toolkit. It should be considered a work in progress.

WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education: Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference, 2013. UNICEF. (Link)
This one-day event brought together over 150 participants online, involving a range of WASH and MHM experts, global health and education researchers, social entrepreneurs and policymakers—from academic institutions, NGOs, the private sector, advocacy organizations, and UNICEF country offices implementing MHM-related activities.

Learning by Doing Something Else: Experience with Alternatives and Adoption of a High-Barrier Menstrual Hygiene Technology, 2014. V Hoffman. (Link)
The market for menstrual hygiene products in developing countries is expanding rapidly, driven both by private demand and by public efforts to improve girls’ educational outcomes as well as women’s health and dignity. However, many girls and women cannot consistently afford the monthly cost of disposable menstrual products and revert to less hygienic solutions when facing cash constraints. Reusable technologies such as menstrual cups are much less expensive over the lifetime of their use, but are characterized by barriers to adoption, including a higher initial cost of purchase, learning costs, and psychological barriers to insertion.

Menstrual Hygiene Management: Training of Master Trainers in New Delhi, India, 2013. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. (Link)
This report presents the main highlights and insights from the training of trainers on MHM organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council held from September 24-27, 2013, in New Delhi, with the support of the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Puberty Education and Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014. UNESCO. (Link)
This volume is designed to articulate a rationale for the education sector to improve school health by addressing puberty education and MHM; to describe good policies and practices from different global contexts; and to provide clear action steps for administrators, practitioners, and advocates to take on these issues in their education sector. This document is the product of an extensive literature review, key informant interviews, and an international technical consultation.

Safe Water School Training Manual, 2014. SODIS. (Link)
The Safe Water School Manual contains a module on menstrual hygiene. It combines school lessons in WASH with scientific experiments, games, and art activities.

Ecological Sanitation Facility Meets Gender-Specific Hygiene Needs in School Fact Sheet, 2014. Stockholm Environment Institute. (Link)
The provision of a sanitation facility, incinerator, and capacity building on MHM have made it easier, more convenient, and safer for girls to attend school during their menstruation period, thus reducing a significant obstacle to girls’ education.

Menstrual Hygiene Studies in the WEDC Knowledge Base(Link)
Links to 18 WEDC conference papers and reports on menstrual hygiene.


A Systematic Review of the Health and Social Effects of Menstrual Hygiene ManagementPLoS One, Apr 2013. C Sumpte. (Link)
The management of menstruation presents significant challenges for women in lower income settings; however, the effect of poor MHM remains unclear. It is plausible that MHM can affect the reproductive tract, but the specific infections, the strength of effect, and the route of transmission remain unclear. There is a gap in the evidence for high quality randomized intervention studies that combine hardware and software interventions to better understand the nuanced effect improving MHM may have on girls’ attendance at school.

Hygiene, Health Problems and Socio-Cultural Practices: What School Girls Do During Menstruation? International Journal of Health Sciences and Research, 4(4) 2014. M Hamal.(Link)
Menstrual hygiene and the socio-cultural taboo for its management was and is an issue that is insufficiently acknowledged and has not received adequate attention in the reproductive health community and other related aspects. This study surveyed adolescent girls age 11–19 in the Kailali District of Nepal and found that the local customs and religious traditions and taboos concerning menstruation have added challenges to young girls to manage their period properly.

Overcoming the Taboo: Advancing the Global Agenda for Menstrual Hygiene Management for SchoolgirlsAm Jnl Public Health, Sept 2013. M Sommer. (Link)
The growing attention paid to MHM reveals important gaps in research methodology and content. The majority of the MHM evidence to date focuses on obstacles and adverse conditions faced by girls and female teachers and their recommendations for improving MHM in schools. An appropriate response to this complex issue requires a range of research and programming options across the social sciences, urban planning, WASH, health, and education disciplines.

Review Paper: Girls’ and Women’s Unmet Needs for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM): The Interactions Between MHM and Sanitation Systems in Low-Income CountriesJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 3(3) 2013. M  Sommer. (Link)
This review explores knowledge about menstrual beliefs and behaviors, and how women and girls currently handle their monthly menses in relation to existing sanitation systems in low-income countries. It further explores how used menstrual materials are disposed of, and the consequences of different disposal practices for the functioning of sanitation systems.


Meeting the Needs of Adolescent Girls for Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014. SNV World. (Video)
SNV Zambia established and trained women-led groups to create micro-enterprises that produce low-cost, locally made sanitary pads for women and girls in rural areas in Northern and Muchinga Provinces.

The Pad Piper, 2014. (Video)
This is the story of a man who invented a low-cost sanitary napkin machine in India that brought menstrual hygiene to thousands of women.

Menstrual Man, 2014. (Video) | This links to the movie trailer. Stream the full film for $3.99.
There are men who squirm at the mention of a woman’s period. And then there’s Muruganantham, a school dropout who realized that the majority of women in India couldn’t afford sanitary pads and decided to do something about it. With limited resources at his disposal, he adopted extreme methods to conduct his research, alienating his community and family. Menstrual Man tells the inspiring story of an unlikely hero who stood up for India’s ignored. The film underscores the importance of empowering women to combat poverty, and the power in every individual to make a difference.

Re-Usable Sanitary Towels, 2014. KMET-Kenya. (Video)
A total of 3,250 girls benefited from this menstrual management training program in various primary schools in Siaya, Homabay, Kisii, Migori, and Kisumu County through integrated activities.

WASHplus Pinterest Board on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014. WASHplus.(Link)
This board contains 16 pins so far with links to infographics, videos, etc. on MHM.


Menstrual Hygiene Matters, 2012. WaterAid. (Link)
Menstrual Hygiene Matters is an essential resource for improving menstrual hygiene for women and girls in lower and middle-income countries. Nine modules and toolkits cover key aspects of menstrual hygiene in different settings, including communities, schools, and emergencies.

One response to “WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014

  1. Pingback: 95% of rural girls miss classes during menstruation |

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