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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Integrating sexual and reproductive health in WASH

    For girls and women globally, access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is critical for their sexual and reproductive health and for gender equality. Girls’ inability to manage their menstrual health, compromises their ability to complete their educations and navigate other aspects of their lives. Lack of access to clean water can have significant impacts on women’s and girls’ health, including their reproductive health, and contributes to maternal mortality and morbidity. …

  2. Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries

    This paper maps the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices surrounding menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries in order to inform the future design of relevant policies and programming. The study of over 80 journal articles from a number of low and middle income countries confirmed that: (1) Many adolescent girls start their periods uninformed and unprepared. (2) Mothers are the primary source of information, but they inform girls too-little and too-late and often communicate their own misconceptions. …

  3. Menstrual hygiene management. National guidelines

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management Guideline is issued by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to support all adolescent girls and women. It outlines what needs to be done by state governments, district administrations, engineers and technical experts in line departments; and school head teachers and teachers. This guideline is organised as follows: Part 1: About the guideline; Part 2: Who needs to know what, why and how; Part 3: Providing adolescent girls with menstrual hygiene management choices; Part 4: MHM infrastructure in schools and the safe disposal of menstrual waste.

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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). …

  7. Menstrual hygiene matters: training guide for practitioners

    This training guide includes eight session plans, each with a facilitation guide, four handouts, two PowerPoint presentations and two short films. …

  8. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education in Masbate Province and Metro Manila, Philippines: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools

    Emory University, UNICEF Philippines, Plan Philippines and Save the Children Philippines carried out a qualitative assessment of menstruation-related challenges girls face in school. Girls, boys, teachers and mothers at 10 schools in Masbate Province and the National Capital Region were interviewed for their opinions. This report highlights the challenges girls face in school during menses, describes the determinants of these challenges, and outlines the educational and health impacts of these challenges as voiced by the participants. …

  9. Global review of sanitation system trends and interactions with menstrual management practices. Report for the menstrual management and sanitation systems project

    This review of sanitation system trends and interactions with menstrual management practices has been conducted as part of the broader project on Menstrual Management and Sanitation Systems. It starts with a review of trends in the development of urban sanitation systems and then explores the interaction between menstrual management and sanitation systems, mainly relating to the issue of disposal of used menstrual blood absorption materials. …

  10. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  11. Menstrual hygiene in South Asia: a neglected issue for WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programmes

    In total, women spend around six to seven years of their lives menstruating. A key priority for women and girls is to have the necessary knowledge, facilities and cultural environment to manage menstruation hygienically, and with dignity. Yet the importance of menstrual hygiene management is mostly neglected by development practitioners within the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector, and other related sectors such as reproductive health. …

  12. 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. …

  13. We keep it secret so no one should know - A qualitative study to explore young schoolgirls attitudes and experiences with menstruation in rural western Kenya

    Background: Keeping girls in school offers them protection against early marriage, teen pregnancy, and sexual harms, and enhances social and economic equity. Studies report menstruation exacerbates school-drop out and poor attendance, although evidence is sparse. This study qualitatively examines the menstrual experiences of young adolescent schoolgirls. Methods and Findings: The study was conducted in Siaya County in rural western Kenya. A sample of 120 girls aged 14–16 years took part in 11 focus group discussions, which were analysed thematically. …

  14. Menstruation, sanitary products and school attendance: Evidence from a randomized evaluation

    Policy-makers have cited menstruation and lack of sanitary products as barriers to girls' schooling. We evaluate these claims using a randomized evaluation of sanitary products provision to girls in Nepal. We report two findings. First, menstruation has a very small impact on school attendance: we estimate that girls miss a total of 0.4 days in a 180 day school year. Second, improved sanitary technology has no effect on reducing this (small) gap: girls who randomly received sanitary products were no less likely to miss school during their period. …

  15. Menstrual hygiene matters: a resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world

    This document is an educational resource for improving menstrual hygiene for women and girls in different settings, including communities, schools and emergencies. The 9 modules and toolkits: bring together examples of good menstrual hygiene practice from around the world; provide guidance on building competence and confidence to break the silence surrounding the issue; encourage increased engagement in advocacy on menstrual hygiene. It is for use by all professionals who are concerned with improving the lives of girls and women. …

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