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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Pupil absenteeism, measurement, and menstruation: Evidence from Kenya

    Impact evaluations focused on school absenteeism commonly use school records of untested quality or expensive spot-check data. We use a large dataset on more than 30,000 unannounced random spot-checks for 6,000 female and male students across 30 schools in Western Kenya, with equivalent school record entries. First, we confirm that while absenteeism is common overall, pubescent girls miss more schooldays than boys because of high incidence of school transfers. …

  2. Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey

    Background: Many adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries lack appropriate facilities and support in school to manage menstruation. Little research has been conducted on how menstruation affects school absence. This study examines the association of menstrual hygiene management knowledge, facilities and practice with absence from school during menstruation among Bangladeshi schoolgirls. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study in Bangladeshi schools from March to June 2013 among girls 11 to 17 years old who reached menarche. …

  3. A time for global action: addressing girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  4. Menstruation as a barrier to education?

    Increasing education for girls is an important policy priority in many developing countries, where secondary school enrollment often remains lower for girls than for boys. Some researchers and policymakers have argued that menstruation may be causing girls to miss a significant number of school days. At the maximum, some have estimated that girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20 percent of school days due to menstruation. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this. Girls report missing school during their periods and lacking access to modern sanitary products. …

  5. Menstruation and the cycle of poverty: a cluster quasi-randomised control trial of sanitary pad and puberty education provision in Uganda

    Background: Poor menstrual knowledge and access to sanitary products have been proposed as barriers to menstrual health and school attendance. In response, interventions targeting these needs have seen increasing implementation in public and private sectors. However, there has been limited assessment of their effectiveness. …

  6. Menstrual hygiene in schools in two countries of francophone West Africa: Burkina Faso and Niger. Case studies in 2013

    Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has been under-researched by the WASH, health and education sectors. Menstruation is a sensitive subject and remains a taboo in many societies. Some cultural beliefs about menstruation reinforce gender inequities and have negative impact on the dignity, health and education of women and girls. There is a need to gather more information on MHM to improve WASH in schools programming and create more equal, safe and healthy school environments. …

  7. Menstrual hygiene management impacts girls’ school experience in the Bolivian Amazon

    The purpose of this study on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Beni department of Bolivia was to better understand the challenges girls face due to menstruation; describe factors which influence girls’ experiences during menstruation; and present recommendations to create a supportive school environment for adolescent girls in Bolivia. This study complements the findings of the first MHM study undertaken in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2012, by providing information specific to the Amazonian population of the eastern lowlands of Bolivia. …

  8. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education in rural Cochabamba, Bolivia: an assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools

    The experiences girls face at school in Bolivia during menstruation had never been formally researched before this project. Data collection in Bolivia was part of a multi-country assessment of the challenges girls face in schools that included the Philippines, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The overarching aim of this collaboration was to understand the range of challenges faced by schoolgirls during menstruation, as well as the determinants of those challenges, and to provide recommendations for stakeholders. …

  9. Aahung – empowering adolescents in Pakistan through life skills-based education

    Aahung, a Karachi-based sexual and reproductive health non-profit organization, has developed a life skills-based education (LSBE) program for school-going adolescent girls and boys. This intervention provides young people with skills and knowledge related to adolescent reproductive health, such as accurate information about puberty and related changes, marital rights, peer pressure, sexual harassment and body protection, gender inequities, early marriage, nutrition, self-confidence, decision-making, and communication skills. …

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

    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. …

  11. A comparison of the menstruation and education experiences of girls in Tanzania, Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia

    The barriers to menstrual hygiene management faced by adolescent schoolgirls in low-income countries are gaining interest at practice and policy levels. The challenges include inadequate water, sanitation and disposal facilities for the management of menses with privacy and dignity, and insufficient guidance to help girls feel confident in attending school during menses. The studies described here aimed to examine how menarche impacts the lives of schoolgirls in three low-income countries (Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia). …

  12. Menstrual hygiene management (Waterlines: Journal issue)

    This issue of the journal Waterlines looks at experiences of menstrual hygiene management in schools in a number of countries.

  13. WASH in schools empowers girls' education in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools

    From June through July 2012, Emory University and UNICEF collaborated in research aimed to understand the range of challenges faced by girls during menstruation in urban Freetown, as well as the determinants of those challenges. This report presents the methods, findings and key programmatic recommendations to address menstruation-related challenges among girls. More than 100 participants were engaged in eight schools and two communities, including teachers and girls, both in school and out of school.

  14. Sanitation and Education

    One in five children worldwide does not complete upper-primary school, with particularly high drop-out rates among pubescent-age girls that may limit economic opportunities and perpetuate gender inequality. This paper tests whether educational attainment is stymied by endemically inadequate school sanitation that threatens children's health, privacy, and safety. …

  15. Study on menstrual management in Uganda

    This pilot research study on the impact of menstrual hygiene on girls in school is primarily aimed at the Ministry of Education and Sports and the National Sanitation Working Group. Within the context of Uganda, the results of this study will be used to provide evidence-based advocacy on the role of upper primary girls, from the ages of 13-18, whom have started menstruating, with a specific emphasis placed on the issues and challenges that they face at school. …

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