Towards a sustainable solution for menstrual hygiene management


SNV's Girls in Control programme is a five-country pilot aiming to break the silence around menstruation.

Around the developing world, menstrual hygiene management remains a major challenge for many schoolgirls – with taboos around menstruation, limited health education and a lack of menstrual hygiene materials and facilities all contributing to health problems, social exclusion and poor educational outcomes for young women.

SNV's Girls in Control programme is a five-country pilot aiming to break the silence around menstruation in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe by educating girls and communities, increasing the availability of affordable menstrual hygiene management materials and facilities, and ultimately empowering young women to stay in school and reach their full potential.

While the issue of menstrual hygiene management is gaining recognition as part of the development agenda for improving girls’ school participation, there is little research and few practical case studies to inform policy and practice in this vital area. Published in the January 2015 edition of journal WaterlinesTowards a sustainable solution for school menstrual hygiene management is a research paper exploring attitudes and experiences around mentrual hygiene management in these five countries. The paper highlights the Girls in Control programme's baseline survey findings on the current menstrual hygiene management practices in the project areas of Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe and recommends key areas for attention.

The latest edition of Waterlines is online now, dealing with the theme of Menstrual Hygiene Management, and all articles are free to download. There are some great research and practitioner articles here looking at girls’ experience of coping with their periods, societal attitudes, play-based research methods to talk about sensitive issues, helping involve boys and men in menstrual hygiene management, and tried and tested methods to support girls in school.