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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  2. Menstrual health management in East and Southern Africa: a review paper

    This review provides an overview of MHM policies and programmes in the ESA region, with a focus on education, school and community-based sexuality education, WASH, sexual and reproductive health, workplace support and humanitarian programming, as well as opening up the discussion regarding marginalized groups of women and girls such as disabled, prisoners and transgender men.

  3. First East and Southern Africa regional symposium: improving menstrual health management for adolescent girls and women

    Menstral health management (MHM) has gained greater attention in recent years. It is now understood as an integrated, cross-sectoral response involving sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and life skills, water, hygiene and sanitation, and waste disposal, both in development and humanitarian contexts. This historic meeting of committed professionals was an important step towards consolidating support for strengthening MHM in the region, particularly since it is implicit in the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals and those within Agenda 2063. …

  4. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene management in selected KwaZulu-Natal schools

    The focus of this study was on the impact of menstruation and menstrual hygiene management on girl learners in schools in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Issues related to cultural practices, teachings about menstruation, access to sanitary supplies necessary during menstruation and to sanitation, as well as psychological trauma, particularly at menarche (the time of their first menstruation), were looked at. The study also attempted to capture the feelings and experiences of learners and their knowledge at menarche.

  5. 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.

  6. Menstrual hygiene management compliance in primary schools in Uganda: a case of Lira Municipality

    The main objective of the study was to determine the influence of Menstrual Hygiene Management on school absenteeism of adolescent girls in 10 primary schools in Lira municipality. Our findings highlighted that; majority of the respondent’s onset of the menstruation was at 13 years of age, 60% of the participants used disposable pads. Most respondents changed their pads at least twice a day. Two fifth of the primary girls reported missing school for about 3 days during menstrual periods pointing to the lack of menstrual hygiene products. …

  7. Menstrual hygiene management to improve the attendance of primary school-aged girls in Central North, Burkina Faso

    How to improve the conditions for girls to attend school, to reduce failure and drop-out rates of adolescent girls, while ensuring their dignity and protection? This was the consideration that motivated the Kom-Yilma project, implemented by Catholic Relief Services in Burkina Faso and financed by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, to undertake a behavior-change strategy for menstrual-hygiene management in 118 schools in Bam and Sanmatenga Provinces. …

  8. Attention to menstrual hygiene management in schools: An analysis of education policy documents in low- and middle-income countries

    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.

  9. Girls in control: Compiled findings from studies on menstrual hygiene management of school girls. Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe

    SNV launched the five-country Girls in Control menstrual hygiene pilot programme in January 2014, building on insights and experience gained from implementing school-based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in 14 countries. This report presents the findings of baseline studies on the menstrual hygiene management of schoolgirls, conducted in the five project countries: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  10. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Virtual Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools

    Capturing girls’ voices: Channelling girls’ recommendations into global and national level action. Globally, there are around 600 million adolescent girls. Adolescence is a pivotal transitional period that requires special attention to ensure progress for all girls, especially the most vulnerable, and poses a unique opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to transform gender roles. The onset of puberty and menstruation can pose an additional barrier to a girl’s personal freedom, and can signal entry into a different role in their family and wider society. …

  11. Menstruation and the cycle of poverty: a cluster quasi-randomised control trial of sanitary pad and puberty education provision in Uganda

    Background: Poor menstrual knowledge and access to sanitary products have been proposed as barriers to menstrual health and school attendance. In response, interventions targeting these needs have seen increasing implementation in public and private sectors. However, there has been limited assessment of their effectiveness. …

  12. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education: tools for assessing menstrual hygiene management in schools

    All children have the right to attend school and be actively engaged in their education without obstacles. Child-friendly environments are necessary for all children to thrive while at school. Creating and sustaining an enabling environment for children requires that their needs are known and met. Girls who are menstruating often do not have their needs fully met in their school environment. Many may face challenges managing menses in school that affect their overall educational experience. …

  13. Menstrual hygiene in schools in two countries of francophone West Africa: Burkina Faso and Niger. Case studies in 2013

    Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has been under-researched by the WASH, health and education sectors. Menstruation is a sensitive subject and remains a taboo in many societies. Some cultural beliefs about menstruation reinforce gender inequities and have negative impact on the dignity, health and education of women and girls. There is a need to gather more information on MHM to improve WASH in schools programming and create more equal, safe and healthy school environments. …

  14. Assessment of knowledge and practice of menstrual hygiene among high school girls in Western Ethiopia

    Background: The issue of menstrual hygiene is inadequately acknowledged and has not received proper attention. Use of sanitary pads and washing the genital area are essential practices to keep the menstrual hygiene. Unhygienic menstrual practices can affect the health of the girls and there is an increased vulnerability to reproductive tract infections and pelvic inflammatory diseases and other complications. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and practice of menstrual hygiene among high school girls at Nekemte town, Oromia region, Western Ethiopia. …

  15. 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). …

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