Menstruation and the Cycle of Poverty: does the provision of sanitary pads improve the attendance and educational outcomes of girls in school?

Research Partners:

School of Oriental & African Studies

Photo: GPE/Livia Barton/Flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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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. The results of the trial support the hypothesised positive impact of providing sanitary pads or puberty education for girls' school attendance in a developing country context. Through the findings emerged at the end of the research project, and have only recently been disseminated, we are already seeing an increase in coverage of the issue in both media and policy circles. Menstrual Health was not included n the Sustainable Development Goals and in October 2016, the project team convened members of academia, nongovernmental organizations, donor agencies, and practitioners to discuss ways forward. Six core themes emerged as actionable avenues to provide guidance and improve the inclusion of menstrual management on policy agendas of education, health and gender sectors.

School of Oriental & African Studies
Catherine Dolan
Linda Marie Scott
Paul Montgomery
Primary theme: 
Grant Reference: 
ES/I034145/2
Project Status: 
Active
Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Lead Organisation Department: 
Anthropology and Sociology
Fund Start Date: 
October 1st, 2013
Fund End Date: 
December 31st, 2014
Fund Currency Code: 
GBP
Fund Value: 
186132
adolescent-health
gender
girls-education
girls-well-being
menstruation
puberty
public-health
water-and-sanitation
Country: