Poor menstrual knowledge and access to sanitary products have been proposed as barriers to menstrual health and school attendance. Previously there has been no research to support this assertion. This study, a randomised control trial that assessed the impact of providing reusable sanitary pads and puberty education on girls' school attendance and psychosocial wellbeing outcomes, was the first to investigate this issue.
Traditional and cultural expectations, low economic status or lack of access to healthcare and education are persistent and major barriers for women and girls. These barriers remind us that we need to change the structures and policies that continue to hold women back. With this as the backdrop, the Impact Initiative is launching its campaign #Policies4 Improving Life Choices for Women, proposing policy ideas and innovations that could empower women. The campaign will highlight the evidence and research funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme that should inform decision making and interventions.