Tag Archives: menstrual hygiene management

Resources from Exploring how to address on-going taboos and silence around MHM for girls in school

Below are links to some interesting resources and contacts from the SuSanA discussion that might be useful for WASH in schools and Gender:

Exploring how to address on-going taboos and silence around MHM for girls in school

http://forum.susana.org/component/kunena/282-theme-1-breaking-the-taboo-around-mhm/21022-exploring-how-to-address-on-going-taboos-and-silence-around-mhm-for-girls-in-school

Sophie Durrans, SHARE – In relation to this discussion I thought some of you might be interested in SHARE’s policy brief on MHM. It highlights the work we’ve done on this subject to date, where we think the gaps remain and what we’d recommend for policymakers and practitioners. You can download the policy brief here: http://www.shareresearch.org/research/menstrual-hygiene-management-policy-brief 

Claudia Wendland, WECF – In our Water and Sanitation Safety Plan Compendium (www.wecf.eu/english/publications/2017/Revised-Compendium.php) we have Part C which is a Train the teachers giving guidance to teachers how to realise an interactive education on water and sanitation and to make children change agents. Module C5 is about MHM: www.wecf.eu/download/2017/01-January/WSSPPublicationENPartC.pdf

Rachel Starkey | Transformation Textiles – From the feed-back of this great day with BCW, Transformation Textiles made these resources available on a FREE MHM mobile app, so that anyone anywhere could down-load these same resources and re-create their own mini-MHM festival. We were invited by IsraAID to teach refugee women in the Kakuma Refugee camp the same material. As expected, these women adapted, improved upon our materials and made it their own.

Camilla Wirseen, founder of The Cup Foundation and co-founder of a sanitation solution called Peepoo. The Cup Foundation works with trainers who are almost peers to the girls they train. They are all young women, 20-30 years old who have shared similar challenges to the girls they train and grown up in similar environments. We also include the environment surrounding the girls. We train boys aged 13-16 years in schools, parents, teachers and elders (informal leaders) to fight the taboo, and in support of the girls.

Aditi Gupta talks about taboos and silences regarding MHM in India and her Comic “Menstrupedia” in her TED talk on “A taboo-free way to talk about periods”

Oxford researchers say African girls need just two things to stay in school

Oxford researchers say African girls need just two things to stay in school. Quartz, December 21, 2016.

Social scientists and educators have experimented with many ways to incentivize girls from low-income backgrounds in developing countries to stay in school including providing lunch, bicycles, and toiletsschools

While there has been considerable improvement in getting girls to enroll in primary schools, it’s proven harder to keep school attendance up in higher grades. In Uganda, 91% girls are enrolled in primary schools, but that figure falls to 22% for secondary schools.

Now a new study led by Paul Montgomery, a professor of psychosocial intervention at Oxford University, shows that there’s a pretty simple way to boost secondary school attendance in girls in Africa: give them sanitary pads and lessons on puberty.

The new paper, published Dec. 21 in PLOS One, builds on a 2008 pilot study in Ghana, also carried out by Oxford researchers, which showed that the first instance of menstruation triggered a drop in school attendance for young girls. The researchers note that in several developing countries, there is a stigma attached to menstruation and that girls are seen as “dirty” while on their period—one of the main reasons they stay home from school at the time. It’s also often difficult for girls in rural areas to find sanitary pads; many rely on absorbent cloth, which can leak and stain school uniforms.

Read the complete article.

Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent schoolgirls in low- and middle-income countries: research priorities

Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent schoolgirls in low- and middle-income countries: research priorities. Global Health Action, December 2016.

Authors:  Penelope A. Phillips-Howard, Bethany Caruso, Belen Torondel, Garazi Zulaika, Murat Sahin and Marni Sommer

Background: A lack of adequate guidance on menstrual management; water, disposal, and private changing facilities; and sanitary hygiene materials in low- and middle-income countries leaves schoolgirls with limited options for healthy personal hygiene during monthly menses.

While a plethora of observational studies have described how menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers in school impact girls’ dignity, well-being, and engagement in school activities, studies have yet to confirm if inadequate information and facilities for MHM significantly affects quantifiable school and health outcomes influencing girls’ life chances. Evidence on these hard outcomes will take time to accrue; however, a current lack of standardized methods, tools, and research funding is hampering progress and must be addressed.

Objectives: Compile research priorities for MHM and types of research methods that can be used.

Results: In this article, we highlight the current knowledge gaps in school-aged girls’ MHM research, and identify opportunities for addressing the dearth of hard evidence limiting the ability of governments, donors, and other agencies to appropriately target resources. We outline a series of research priorities and methodologies that were drawn from an expert panel to address global priorities for MHM in schools for the next 10 years.

Conclusions: A strong evidence base for different settings, standardized definitions regarding MHM outcomes, improved study designs and methodologies, and the creation of an MHM research consortia to focus attention on this neglected global issue.

 

Indian medical students use pads and poems to tackle period taboos

Indian medical students use pads and poems to tackle period taboos | Source: The Guardian, Oct 7 2016 |

Women on their way to becoming doctors write haikus about menstruation as one small step towards breaking the silence on the subject 

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Women wait for an underground train in Delhi. One study says that roughly 20% of girls aged 12-18 drop out of school in India due to menstruation-related issues. Photograph: EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

When Kavya Menon first brought up the idea of installing a sanitary pad dispenser in the girls’ bathroom of Calicut Medical College, fellow students said she shouldn’t really discuss such matters openly at a student union meeting, where boys were present. “It was strange. I mean, we’re supposed to become doctors yet some people would say, ‘How can you talk about this here?’”

For Menon, the sanitary pad dispenser was a necessity: “If you start your period in the middle of the day and you can’t find a pad, you have to go all the way to the hostel, which is at least a 10-minute walk away. There’s no time between classes to go there.”

Periods are only ever mentioned in hushed tones, Menon said. “You can’t raise your hand in class and tell your professor you need to leave because of period pain, for example. You have to be discreet.”

Read the complete article.

Live Q&A: Menstruation is keeping girls out of school – what can we do?

Live Q&A: Menstruation is keeping girls out of school – what can we do? Source: The Guardian, October 7 2016 |

Starting menstruation is a major factor in girls missing school in developing countries. Join an expert panel on Thursday 13 October, 2-3.30pm BST to discuss how to work across sectors to prevent this 

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Studies have shown that improved access to sanitary products increases school attendance among girls in Kenya. Photograph: George Mulala/Reuters

“I still remember the shocked silence the first time I brought up the issue of menstruation,” said Archana Patkar at Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council during a recent Guardian panel discussion.

She was describing working with colleagues in education looking at reasons for the dropout of girls from school at around ages 11-13. “[There were] a lot of discussions on teacher quality, classrooms, inadequacy of material, inappropriateness of curricular, but nobody was talking about what happens to girls at that point,” said Patkar.

Now there is recognition that starting their periods, and inadequate toilets and sanitation supplies, is a huge factor in girls missing out on their education. The United Nations Children’s Fund found that one in 10 African girls skip school during menstruation, and some drop out entirely. Not having access or money to buy supplies even leads to girls feeling that they must engage in transactional sex.

So how can the education and the public health and water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) sectors work together so that more girls complete secondary school? How can schools provide better sanitation facilities so girls aren’t afraid to go to school when they have their period? And how can girls get easier access to healthy sanitation products?

Join an expert panel on Thursday 13 October, 2-3.30pm BST, to discuss these questions and more.

The 10 Most Innovative Health Technologies Saving Millions In The Developing World

The 10 Most Innovative Health Technologies Saving Millions In The Developing World | Source: Medical Futurist, July 19, 2016 |

There are striking differences in the general social, economic or political background of the developed and developing country-groups, and developing countries are in dire need for creative and innovative medical solutions. Here are the 10 most innovative health technologies which could save millions of lives in these corners of the Earth. 102213836-padeducation1.530x298

Featured in this article are innovations on the manufacture of sanitary pads and water purification.

Read the complete article.

Managing menstruation in the workplace: an overlooked issue in low- and middle-income countries

Managing menstruation in the workplace: an overlooked issue in low- and middle-income countriesInt J Equity Health. 2016; 15: 86.

Authors: Marni Sommer, Sahani Chandraratna, Sue Cavill, et. al.

The potential menstrual hygiene management barriers faced by adolescent girls and women in workplace environments in low- and middle-income countries has been under addressed in research, programming and policy. Despite global efforts to reduce poverty among women in such contexts, there has been insufficient attention to the water and sanitation related barriers, specifically in relation to managing monthly menstruation, that may hinder girls’ and women’s contributions to the workplace, and their health and wellbeing.

There is an urgent need to document the specific social and environmental barriers they may be facing in relation to menstrual management, to conduct a costing of the implications of inadequate supportive workplace environments for menstrual hygiene management, and to understand the implications for girls’ and women’s health and wellbeing. This will provide essential evidence for guiding national policy makers, the private sector, donors and activists focused on advancing girls’ and women’s rights.