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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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.

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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). …

  6. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  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. A systematic review of the health and social effects of menstrual hygiene management

    Background: Differing approaches to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) have been associated with a wide range of health and psycho-social outcomes in lower income settings. This paper systematically collates, summarizes and critically appraises the available evidence. Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines a structured search strategy was used to identify articles investigating the effects of MHM on health and psycho-social outcomes. The search was conducted in May 2012 and had no date limit. Data was extracted and quality of methodology was independently assessed by two researchers. …

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. Celebrating womanhood: How better menstrual hygiene management is the path to better health, dignity and business

    This report details the Celebrating Womanhood: Menstrual Hygiene Management event held in March 2013 to discuss menstruation, a subject which is even now taboo in the higest corridors of funding and decision-making.

  13. Doing harm in the name of protection: menstruation as a topic for sex education

    Pubertal changes in girls and boys are treated differently in school materials in New Zealand. Girls are taught about menstruation in a scientific manner oriented towards reproduction, hygiene and personal stress. Boys receive more positive information about 'exciting' and 'powerful' bodily changes which they can enjoy. The picture of growing up which girls receive is relatively bleak, and is out of touch with the realities of their own lives and those of adult women around them. …

  14. 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. …

  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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