Menstruation is a normal biological process which all women and girls experience. However, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) remains as a hidden issue that communities and schools rarely tackle.
Many girls miss school and other learning opportunities due to the lack of proper sanitation facilities and supplies in schools. Some girls need to go home even during school hours, exposing them to safety risks. Many misconceptions on menstruation still linger. Lack of information and taboos exacerbate the problem, hindering girls to manage their menstruation “with normalcy and dignity”.
There is a need for information, break taboos and open the conversation on MHM. Students are particularly affected by MHM issues and schools play a big role in addressing them. With simple steps, schools can easily support students by making sanitary pads available in schools. Schools can also help by ensuring that their sanitation facilities are MHM-friendly, meaning, that they are gender-segregated, guarantee privacy, and have wrapping materials, covered trash bins and washing stations. Finally, schools can make relevant information and education materials on the issue accessible to students of all genders.
The GIZ Regional Fit for School program, commissioned by BMZ, supports Ministries of Education in the Philippines, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Indonesia in implementing their water, sanitation and hygiene in schools (WinS) programs, under which MHM is a key component.