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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. The last taboo : research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific : final report Fiji

    Managing menstruation hygienically, effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents findings from research that was undertaken in Fiji in November 2016. The study is part of a larger piece of work which includes the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, and is funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). …

  3. 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.

  4. Menarche and its implications for educational policy in Peru

    Indigenous girls in rural areas live in the most extreme poverty and make up the least educated groups in Peru. These girls face numerous constraints to obtaining an education. Enrollment rates are lower for girls in rural areas, and their grade repetition rates are higher than those for boys. Adolescence is particularly difficult, as girls face a number of risks during this time. Once they begin menstruation, completing their primary school education is a formidable challenge, and opportunities for advancing to secondary school are limited. …

  5. The last taboo : research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific - The Solomon Islands

    Managing menstruation hygienically, effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents findings from research that was undertaken in Solomon Islands in October 2016. The study is part of a larger piece of work which includes Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and is funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). …

  6. The last taboo: research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific - Papua New Guinea

    Managing menstruation effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents findings from research that was undertaken in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in March 2017. The study is part of a larger piece of work that includes Fiji and Solomon Islands, and is funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. The Last Taboo. Research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific: Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Final report

    Managing menstruation effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents general findings from research funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), including its innovationXchange. It represents collaboration between DFAT’s Pacific Division and DFAT’s innovationXchange following an internal DFAT Ideas Challenge. …

  10. 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. …

  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. Agua, saneamiento e higiene en la escuela. Fortalece la educacion de las niñas adolescentes en la zona rural de Cochabamba, Bolivia: estudio del manejo de la higiene menstrual en las escuelas

    El inicio de la menstruación presenta múltiples retos para las niñas escolares adolescentes. Muchas de ellas carecen de los conocimientos, apoyo y recursos para manejar la menstruación en la escuela. El propósito del programa Agua, Saneamiento e Higiene en las Escuelasa (WASH en Escuelas) es entender el alcance de los retos en educación y salud a los cuales se enfrentan las niñas adolescentes en el área rural de Cochabamba, Bolivia. Las conclusiones incluirán estrategias para mitigar esos retos y apoyar apropiadamente a las adolescentes en la escuela durante su menstruación. …

  13. Menstruation and education in Nepal

    This paper presents the results from a randomized evaluation that distributed menstrual cups (menstrual sanitary products) to adolescent girls in rural Nepal. Girls in the study were randomly allocated a menstrual cup for use during their monthly period and were followed for fifteen months to measure the effects of having modern sanitary products on schooling. While girls were 3 percentage points less likely to attend school on days of their period, the researchers find no significant effect of being allocated a menstrual cup on school attendance. …

  14. 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. …

  15. 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. …

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