Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)

Menstruation is a biological process just like defecation or urination. Maintaining hygiene during menses is important for women’s well-being, mobility, and dignity. 

The topic of menstruation is cloaked in secrecy and negativity; in many countries it is associated with cultural and religious taboos, and is therefore completely neglected. This is also unfortunately the case in many WASH programmes.

Breaking a taboo starts with broaching the subject. The best place to do so is in schools, where the topic can be incorporated into hygiene and sexual education. This requires sound knowledge (and in some cases also the courage of teachers) on how to use sanitary items and related issues.

Source: WSSCC

More resources on Menstrual Hygiene Management

Author: WSSCC Regions: India Document type: Fact Sheet
Description: Menstrual hygiene is still a taboo subject, neglected in adolescent girl’s and women’s health, education and quality of life. Even sectors such as water and sanitation, which routinely deal with unmentionables such as excreta, ignore girl’s and women’s need for safe spaces to manage menstrual hygiene and mechanisms for safe disposal of materials used to absorb menstrual blood.

 Menstrual Hygiene Management: A brief guide for girls
UNICEF Regions: Africa Document type: Guide
Description: A booklet that helps girls understand better the changes that happen during their periods. This guide also helps girls to feel free to speak to their family, friends and teachers about their periods.

 Case Study: Towards a Local Solution for Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools
Author: Zinash Tsegaye, Selamawit Tamiru, Adane Kitaba and Fantahun Getachew Regions: East Africa Document type: Case study
Description: This case study describes practical experiences and lessons learnt from SNV Ethiopia initiative to 
strengthen local capacity builders to improve access, quality and affordability of reusable sanitary pads. 

 MHM Study report on Burkina Faso and Niger (English)
 MHM Rapport de l'etude menee au Burkina Faso et au Niger (Francais)
UNICEF Regions: West Africa Document type: Study report
Description: This report provides information on MHM practices in schools in Nurkina Faso and Niger, selected as regionally representative case study countries by UNICEF WCA Regional Office. A comprehensive qualitative survey design characterized by descriptive features was employed in the study. The responses from 60 girls and care-givers in Burkina Faso and Niger provide interesting information on current MHM knowledge and practices.  

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