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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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). …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. Socio-cultural aspects of menstruation in an urban slum in Delhi, India

    The paper attempts to understand the experience of menstruation in the socio-cultural context of an urban Indian slum. Observations were gathered as part of a larger study of reproductive tract infections in women in Delhi, using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

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