Tag Archives: menstrual hygiene management

Breaking the Next Taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS

Breaking the Next Taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS.  Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights, July 2015.

Authors: Sharon Roose and Tom Rankin, Plan International and Sue Cavill, Independent Consultant

Most adolescent girls and women menstruate. This means that for five to seven days each month they bleed through their vagina. This monthly bleeding is often accompanied by abdominal cramps, headaches, mood changes and general lethargy all of which can be exacerbated by social stigma, myths and a lack of requisite infrastructure to manage menstruation safely, privately and hygienically. Frontiers_Issue-6_MHM

The accumulated impact of these issues have significant implications for women and girls and the potential to limit their opportunity for education, equality, income generation and societal participation, all of which hamper self-worth and confidence.

This edition of Frontiers of CLTS illustrates how CLTS programmes can be expanded to address menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools
and communities to alleviate these stresses on women and girls.

Its specific objectives are to:

  • Increase the awareness of policy-makers and practitioners on MHM.
  • Engender change by highlighting the synergies between MHM and
    CLTS programmes.
  • Share examples of how MHM interventions have been incorporated
    into CLTS and School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) programmes,
    drawing on the innovations and experiences of several organisations.
  • Summarise what can be done to improve MHM through CLTS
    programmes.

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management

WASHplus Weekly |Issue 193|May 28, 2015|Menstrual Hygiene Management| 

This WASHplus Weekly focuses on issues related to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and is well-timed, as May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day. Menstrual Hygiene Day is meant to serve as a platform to bring together individuals, organizations, social businesses, and the media to create a united and strong voice for women and girls around the world, helping to break the silence around menstrual hygiene management. WASHPlus_HTMLbanner_weekly_600x159

Resources in this issue include a WASHplus MHM toolkit, a listing of upcoming and past MHM conferences, webinars on dealing with the disposal of sanitary pads, a special Waterlines issue on MHM, and recent articles, reports, videos, and key MHM-related websites.

WASHPLUS RESOURCES

Menstrual Hygiene Management Mini-Toolbox for Teachers and Schools in Zambia, 2015. SPLASH. Link
Menstrual Hygiene Management or MHM is an important component of a “WASH-Friendly School.” Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene (SPLASH) designed this toolkit to help classroom teachers, guidance counselors, and other school personnel in Zambian primary schools establish MHM programs or activities in their schools as a way to improve girls’ attendance. With suggestions for incorporating the topic into lessons, the toolkit also includes games, role-plays, and pad-making instructions.

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#MenstruationMatters in Bangladeshi schools

28 May is Menstrual Hygiene Day. In Bangladesh, BRAC field staff are working hard to “end the hesitation around menstruation” especially in schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools. Photo: Petra Brussee/IRC

Field staff of BRAC WASH in Bangladesh talk just as easily about menstrual hygiene as they do about water seals for toilets or hand pumps. At community level menstrual hygiene messages are included in the programme for adolescent girls and young women. Since 2006 about 45 million community cluster meetings have been organised.

In rural areas rags are used by women who cannot afford sanitary napkins. Field staff discuss menstrual hygiene with adolescent girls and young women, for example on how to wash rags with soap and dry them in the sun. They are also encouraged to speak up about menstrual hygiene says Abu Taleb Biswas of BRAC WASH in Hygiene Promotion – the backbone of BRAC WASH: “Women and adolescent girls learn to speak up about menstrual hygiene issues, something that was nearly unthinkable even a few years ago.”

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Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2014

WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education: Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2014. United Nations Children’s Fund and Columbia University, New York, 2015.

Authors: Sommer, Marni, Emily Cherenack, Sarah Blake, Murat Sahin and Lizette Burgers.

This publication brings together the key elements of the 16 presentations in a case study format. Each case study outlines the context in which the programme or research is being undertaken, the methods or approaches used, the accomplishments realized and challenges faced. Each case study also provides a number of recommendations to help guide future work.

The virtual conference also provided an opportunity to engage in a visioning exercise during which the participants collectively brainstormed and ranked a list of priority action items to be accomplished by 2024.

The 2015 virtual conference will showcase findings from formative research on MHM in WinS that is underway in a variety of countries.

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