WoMena FAQS: Does menstruation make girls miss school?

WoMena (2020)

Published in: 2020
Pages: 13

Publisher:
WoMena

Author:
WoMena

Uploaded by:
Marianne Tellier

Partner profile:
WoMena


171 Views
3 Downloads

Q1: Do girls miss school because of menstruation? ‘One in ten girls in sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their period’. This truism has not been substantiated, but empirical evidence from low- and middle-income countries has accumulated, confirming a negative effect at varying levels (from less than 10 to more than 50 percent absence during menstruation). One study from Uganda found more than half of the students reported missing 1-3 days of school per period. On the other hand, another study from Nepal showed little absence.

Q2: Do girls participate less in school activities when they menstruate? Researchers suggest that, beyond school absenteeism, class participation may give a better sense of the negative effect of menstruation on girls’ educational attainment. For example, one study from Uganda indicated 64.7 percent of girls were afraid to stand in class to answer questions, fearing classmates might ridicule them if they leaked blood or smelled. In India, a study found 70 percent of girls reporting difficulty to concentrate in class during menstruation.

Q3: Why is menstruation a problem? Menstruation is a normal process, but it can become a problem: a lack of menstrual products, (reported to be the main barrier for 73.7 percent of schoolgirls in South Sudan), of adequate toilets or water and waste disposal (less than half of upper secondary school in sub-Saharan Africa have access to basic handwashing facilities), Menstrual pain and discomfort: (71 percent of girls in a study in Uganda reported pain and discomfort as the main reasons they missed school). Girls around the world powerfully report on feelings of shame, fear, stigma, and uncleanliness. A lack of education about menstruation for girls, and of a supportive environment (parents, teachers, policy makers) are documented.

Q4: Can interventions make a difference? A small number of studies suggest menstrual health management interventions can have positive effects. Most interventions provide products and girls’ education. For example, a study from Uganda indicated that girls provided with pads and/or education experienced 17 percent less drop in attendance than the control group. Researchers suggest there is a need to study broader, and 'softer', results: e.g. on pain management, stigma, knowledge, supportive environments (incl. males). Pilot studies by organisations like WoMena and partners include pain management techniques, and engage communities. One study in Uganda found that the percentage of girls who have discussed menstruation with their families increased (from ‘taboo’ before the intervention to 94 percent). Words frequently associated with menstruation change from 'fear' or 'shame' to 'freely' ('now I can bicycle to school freely'). These feasibility studies may be helpful to identify factors which are important in their own right, as well as being preconditions in achieving educational goals.

Education and age at first sex are key drivers of fertility decrease. Education about MHM can be an entry point for broader education on reproductive health, helping postpone first sex.

Bibliographic information

WoMena (2020). WoMena FAQS: Does menstruation make girls miss school?. WoMena

Filter tags

Educators English Factsheets and policy briefs Practitioners Schools

Information on external sites

Download

WOMENA FAQS: DOES MENSTRUATION MAKE GIRLS MISS SCHOOL?

Format: pdf file
Size: 0.22 MB

Share this page on    


Sanitation events

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »

Latest tweets mentioning SuSanA

Tweets mentioning SuSanA »

29th SuSanA meeting, Kampala, Uganda

The 29th SuSanA meeting took place on Saturday, 22 February 2020 - just before the The African Water Association (AfWA) International Congress and Exhibition in Kampala, Uganda.

The documentation of the meeting is available here!

SuSanA meetings

Jobs

 


close  

 

Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:

Projects

The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.


Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Regional chapters

Use the map or the search tool to access the most relevant information and knowledge products for your region or country. This includes relevant resources, events, partners or projects.

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs), excreta flow diagrams

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.

 


close  

 

Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »


Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »


Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member

Login


Forgot your password?

 


close