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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.
The Fit for School (FIT) programme integrates school health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene interventions, which are implemented by the Ministries of Education in four Southeast Asian countries. This paper describes the findings of a Health Outcome Study, which aimed to assess the two-year effect of the FIT programme on the parasitological, weight, and oral health status of children attending schools implementing the programme in Cambodia, Indonesia and Lao PDR.
This issue of the journal Waterlines looks at experiences of menstrual hygiene management in schools in a number of countries.
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. …