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Menstrual hygiene management: rural cambodian girls' experiences (Webinar organized by CAWST)

20 Sep. 2016 • 20:00 - 21:00

1-hour online Webinar "I feel scared of being stain[ed]"- Understanding Rural Cambodian Girls' Experiences of Menstrual Hygiene Management and Finding Meaningful Interventions from their Stories

Over the last decade, increasing attention has been given to understanding girls' menstrual hygiene management (MHM) experiences in school, with less emphasis on non-school environments, such as the home. A considerable emphasis has been focused on MHM’s impact on girls’ educational outcomes and on meeting the need for improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities to create MHM-friendly school environments. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of MHM, gaps remain in developing and implementing best practices for enhancing girls’ MHM experiences in schools and other environments.

Samaritan's Purse and Yale University conducted a knowledge, attitudes, and practices study of MHM and menstrual related experiences among rural Cambodians. The study found that despite girls' feelings of self-efficacy related to MHM, fear, shyness, and discomfort (FSD) associated with their menstrual experience emerged as a major theme of the girls’ comments. Among the underlying factors contributing to FSD that girls and other participant groups identified were: (1) lack of trust in teacher-female student relationships; (2) lack of timely and appropriate knowledge prior to menarche from home and school; and (3) fear of staining due to unreliable sanitary pads and inadequate WASH resources for MHM. Analysis showed that FSD had a strong impact on girls' confidence, engagement, and decision-making. Based on this evidence, these expressed concerns stand out as potential leverage points for intervention. Programmatic efforts to be discussed have explored enhancing teacher awareness, introducing MHM curriculum and girls clubs, and exploring partnership opportunities to improve pad quality and the supply side of MHM. Evidence from this study and others supports the tailoring of programs and interventions to target specific social, educational, and environmental challenges and underlying factors that contribute to girls' FSD, in order to meet the MHM needs of women and girls who are often underserved.

Gabrielle Daniels, (Master of Public Health - Yale University)
Ray Cantwell (Ph.D., P.Eng., Senior Technical Advisor to WASH Programs)

Organization and Registration by CAWST

Further Description / Program

Webinar: 8am to 9am MT

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