Menstrual hygiene is fundamental to ADVANCING EDUCATION

Girls’ right to education is being violated through inadequate menstrual hygiene education, insufficient water and sanitation facilities, and poor access to sanitary menstrual materials. Menstrual hygiene facilities and services keep girls in school where they can reach their full potential.
The Challenge

  • In India, 66 % of girls-only schools do not have functioning toilets.
  • 83% of girls in Burkina Faso and 77% in Niger have no place at school to change their sanitary menstrual materials.
  • 5% of schoolgirls from South Asia had not heard about menstruation prior to menarche and an overwhelming 97.5% did not know that menstrual blood came from the uterus.
  • In Sierra Leone, girls who are normally active classroom participants sit in the back because they worried about emitting an odor or leaking through their clothes while menstruating.
  • A study at a school in Uganda found that half of the girl pupils missed 1-3 school days a month, or 8-24 school days a year.
  • UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 African girls miss school during menses, eventually leading to a higher school drop out rate.
  • In Ghana, girls miss up to 5 days a month attributed to inadequate sanitation facilities and the lack of sanitary products at school as well as physical discomfort due to menstruation, such as cramps.

The Good News

A Ghanian study found that girls’ attendance increased substantially after receiving free sanitary pads and puberty education.Many NGOs & social businesses are making enormous progress on delivering menstrual hygiene education, like designing fun and games-based curricula that engages both boys and girls.

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