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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study

    Poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among schoolgirls in low income countries affects girls' dignity, self-esteem, and schooling. Hygienic, effective, and sustainable menstrual products are required. A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14-16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls' perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Menstrual hygiene management guideline

    This Guide supports organizations working on MHM to encourage all girls and women to adopt safer menstrual hygiene practices. It also demonstrates how to work with communities and implement concrete actions for effective menstrual management. The target audience for MHM encompasses behavior change communication audiences referred to as primary participant groups –all women and girls - secondary audiences such as relevant technical officials at all levels, and advocacy or tertiary audiences – political leaders.

  4. Menstruation: Breaking the silence, taking action

    In 2014, the United Nations declared May 28 of every year as Menstrual Hygiene Day in recognition of the woes girls and women experience during menstruation. This was a reaffirmation of the world’s commitment to create more befitting living conditions for girls and women. Uganda commemorated the first Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2014 and in August of the same year held the first International Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference, here in Kampala. …

  5. Understanding and managing menstruation: a reader for learners

    This reader is a Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) initiative to provide information to pupils on understanding of menstruation and managing it well, particularly to beginners.

  6. Menstrual hygiene management: operational guidelines

    Adolescence and puberty is a time of intense physical and emotional change for young people between the ages of 10 and 17. Puberty marks a transition between childhood and adulthood that impacts adolescents’ physical, emotional, and social well-being. Evidence shows that during puberty, adolescents embrace and solidify the gender norms of their society. So the way girls and boys see themselves within their family, community and society can be drastically altered for the rest of their lives. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Break the barriers: girls' experiences of menstruation in the UK

    The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. But our latest report, Break the Barriers: Girls’ Experiences of Menstruation in the UK, reveals a culture of stigma and silence have turned periods into a hidden public health issue – putting girls' physical, sexual and mental health at risk. Across the UK and around the world, girls’ stories show that periods have been stigmatised for too long. …

  9. Growing up and changing : knowing about puberty for girls

    UNESCO in partnership with Ministry of Education and with financial support from the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, community and Civil society organizations implemented a two year Health Literacy and Behaviour Change practices among Adolescent Girls pilot project from September 2014-September 2017 in 41 schools. Health literacy materials were evaluated and approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for use in other informal settlements. This is a one sheet brochure for an intended audience of girls approaching puberty.

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. An agenda for policy and action to support girls through puberty and menarche

    Puberty and menstruation are a fundamental part of the second decade of girls’ lives. Yet many girls in low and middle-income countries know very little about the physical and emotional changes that are part of growing up. …

  13. A toolkit for integrating menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into humanitarian response

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Emergencies toolkit aims to provide streamlined guidance to support organizations and agencies seeking to rapidly integrate MHM into existing programming across sectors and phases.

  14. 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. …

  15. WASH in Schools for Girls E-Course: Increasing national capacity to conduct research on menstrual hygiene management in schools

    Menstrual hygiene remains a taboo in many settings, with poor knowledge and misconceptions as great a challenge as access to adequate facilities at both home and in school. In recent years, a solid body of evidence has revealed the discriminatory nature of many school environments, with menstruating girls unable to adequately manage their monthly menses with safety, dignity and privacy. This, in turn, may have negative impacts on girls’ ability to succeed and thrive within the school environment. …

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