Tag Archives: menstrual hygiene management

Waterlines, Jan 2015 issue on Menstrual Hygiene Management

WATERLINES – JANUARY 2015 (Complete issue)

Selected articles: 

Guest editorial: tackling the stigma and gender marginalization related to menstruation via WASH in schools programmes (abstract/order info)
Menstrual hygiene management has been defined as: ‘Women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material to absorb or collect blood that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period, using soap and water for washing the body as required, and having access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials’ (UNICEF and WHO, 2014). However, menstrual hygiene is not just about the management of the menstrual period but also the need to address societal beliefs and taboos surrounding the issue. waterlines

Until recently, the development sector including WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) had not explored and attempted to address the challenges related to Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), an important issue affecting the health, dignity and privacy of millions of girls and women on a daily basis. It is great to have a whole issue of Waterlines dedicated to MHM, as it will help us, the maledominated, engineering-based sector, to increase our understanding of this aspect of the development work we do on a daily basis.

Putting the men into menstruation: the role of men and boys in community menstrual hygiene management (full text)
This paper examines how men and boys have an essential role in effective menstrual hygiene programmes and describes an initiative to engage men and boys in Uttar Pradesh, India. As a result of the initiative, men and boys have begun to talk about menstruation more freely and are better able to support the MHM needs of women and girls within the household, community, and school.

Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study (full text)
A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14–16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls’ perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction.

Mainstreaming menstrual hygiene management in schools through the play-based approach: lessons learned from Ghana (full text)
The study objective was to identify and document the effectiveness of the play-based approach in promoting menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools and share lessons learned. The study used a mix of approaches including qualitative and quantitative techniques. The author carried out an exploratory evaluation on the promotion of MHM activities as part of WASH in Schools programmes in 120 public schools in Ghana. Comparison was drawn between 60 schools currently using the play-based approach in promoting MHM, and 60 schools which are not using the play-based approach.

Developing games as a qualitative method for researching menstrual hygiene management in rural Bolivia (abstract/order info)
In 2012, Emory University and UNICEF conducted a multi-country formative study to gain a global perspective of girls’ experiences. A compendium of tools was created to ensure investigation of common themes across all settings. This paper describes the process of adapting the focus group discussion (FGD) tool for Bolivia into a board game as a method to ease girls’ discomfort discussing menstruation and elicit richer data.

Social and psychological impact of limited access to sanitation: The link between MHM and reproductive tract infections, and between WASH practices and pregnancy

Social and psychological impact of limited access to sanitation: The link between MHM and reproductive tract infections, and between WASH practices and pregnancy, October 2014. SHARE, WSSCC.

The approach utilizes a baseline cross-sectional survey to quantify  WASH practices and reported health history among a randomly-selected subset of girls and women from each of the four life-course groups in tribal, rural, and urban areas of Odisha, and a set of overlapping sub-studies each testing focused hypotheses about pathways between sanitation access, SRPS, hygiene behaviour and health.

Some Key Findings (for Practitioners):

  • While most sanitation challenges are universal for women, their  relative severity and frequency differed in urban, rural, and tribal areas and among young women, married women, and older adults. Strategies for improving latrine access and use could potentially utilize context-specific promotional strategies to
    encourage behaviour change.
  • Sanitation encompasses much more than defecation, specifically  within the Indian context. The act of defecation is embedded within other behaviours, including post-defecation cleaning, ritual bathing, and changing clothing; as well as menstrual management and urination. Strategies to improve sanitation
    coverage in India must be aware of how defecation practices are positioned within these larger behavioural patterns and responsive strategies are needed in order to facilitate adoption and use of sanitation technologies.

Oct 29, 2014 – The 3rd Annual Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in WASH in Schools Virtual Conference

The 3rd Annual Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in WASH in Schools Virtual Conference, Wednesday 29 October 2014

The 3rd virtual MHM in WinS conference will build on the content and recommendations of the prior two conferences and continue the effort to fill in the gaps in the existing knowledge and advocacy around this important issue. The one-day conference will bring together academics and health, gender, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts from around the world currently implementing MHM-related activities.

Conference objectives:

  • To share recent research findings that relate to various aspects of MHM in WinS
  • To highlight school-based MHM program descriptions and their potential for scale
  • To share recommendations about how new MHM programs can be developed by WinS practitioners

Uganda – 1st National Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014

The theme of the conference was Break the Silence on Menstruation, Keep the Girls in School. menstruation_health_book-2

Author: Netwas Uganda

The conference had 4 objectives; a) to raise awareness on the impact of poor menstrual management, b) advocate for policy review, c) develop strategies for operationalizing existing policy, d) demonstrate sustainable good practices on menstrual management. The overall aim was to explore how best the School Health Policy can ensure girls get all the support they need to complete school and reach their full potential.

Female parliamentarians want free sanitary pads for Uganda’s schoolgirls

Uganda’s female parliamentarians led by controversial Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga have called on the government to provide sanitary pads for all schoolgirls in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. Kadaga launched her call at the Annual General Meeting  of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) on 16 May 2014.

Cover MHM study UgandaThe call was spurred by IRC’s research with SNV in Ugandan schools, which showed there is a higher likelihood of adolescent girls staying home during their periods. Girls in the 140 schools surveyed reported missing from 8 to 24 school days per year, resulting in lagging behind or some dropping out of school.

In August this year, IRC will present results from the Uganda study at the Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference taking place in Kampala, Uganda. NETWAS Uganda and partners are organising this event to encourage learning about what can be done to improve menstrual management in schools, institutions and communities.

Source:

  • Marielle Snel and Carmen da Silva Wells, Why focus on menstrual hygiene management?, IRC,, 27 May 2013
  • Olive Eyotaru, Include girls’ sanitary pads in UPE pack, Kadaga says, Daily Monitor, 18 May 2014
  • Editorial, Support low-cost sanitary pad drive, Daily Monitor, 20 May 2014
  • Support Uganda’s low-cost sanitary pad drive, SNV Uganda, 23 May 2014

Menstrual hygiene reports from Bolivia, Philippines and Sierra Leone

In 2012, UNICEF and the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University initiated a programme to support collaborative research focused specifically on exploring the MHM challenges faced by female students in Bolivia, the Philippines, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The project includes developing or
strengthening MHM-related programming in schools in those countries. WASH_Philippines-6

Emory University sent research fellows to work with UNICEF and its in-country WASH in Schools partners on the programme. The assessment activities conducted and themes explored were guided by an ecological framework that covers societal, environmental, interpersonal, personal and biological factors. Questions for qualitative data collection were created to investigate and understand the personal challenges and needs girls have during menstruation in the school setting.

The results are now published as a series of reports:

Bolivia – Long, Jeanne, Bethany A. Caruso, Diego Lopez, Koenraad Vancraeynest, Murat Sahin, Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education in Rural Cochabamba, Bolivia: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

Philippines – Jacquelyn, Bethany A. Caruso, Anna Ellis, Murat Sahin, Jonathan Michael Villasenor, Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’  Education in Masbate Province and Metro Manila, Philippines: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

Sierra Leone – Caruso, Bethany A., Alexandra Fehr, Kazumi Inden, Murat Sahin, Anna Ellis,  Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

 

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.

EVENTS

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.

CALL FOR PAPERS

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.

REPORTS

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.

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