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For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.
Recent decades have seen a push for gender parity in education in low resource countries. Attention is shifting to how school environments hinder the achievement of gender equality. One effort, primarily led by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, includes a focus on the needs of menstruating girls.
SNV launched the five-country Girls in Control menstrual hygiene pilot programme in January 2014, building on insights and experience gained from implementing school-based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in 14 countries. This report presents the findings of baseline studies on the menstrual hygiene management of schoolgirls, conducted in the five project countries: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Background: Unhygienic and ineffective menstrual hygiene management has been documented across low resource contexts and linked to negative consequences for women and girls. Objectives: To summarise and critically appraise evidence for the effectiveness of menstruation management interventions in improving women and girls’ education, work and psychosocial wellbeing in low and middle income countries. [...] Conclusions: There is insufficient evidence to establish the effectiveness of menstruation management interventions, although current results are promising. …