Title

Addressing the Menstruation Gap in International Development Efforts for Girls’ Education

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Billions of dollars have been raised for and spent in low-income countries to increase access to education for girls. Yet despite countless projects to build additional schools, facilitate teacher training, and offer support to provide books, stationery, and school fees, there are many programs falling short of their goals due to low attendance and high dropout rates. I posit that failures in programs for girls’ education are partly due to a gap in development resources committed to addressing menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and cultural taboos. In a literature review of existing development project reports and data, I examined the relationship between girls’ school completion rates and limited social support during menstruation, unsanitary MHM supplies, and/or a lack of adequate bathroom facilities in school. I found that these factors affect girls’ attendance and dropout rates in the crucial years before and during secondary school. In order to demonstrate the potential progress of closing “the menstruation gap,” I reviewed current efforts by international and grassroots organizations working to address MHM on a global and local scale. Therefore, I argue that development agencies should begin to address MHM in their ongoing efforts to promote girls’ education. I further recommend that international development efforts should also endeavor to direct any new or existing MHM resources towards locally oriented and sustainable solutions to achieve objective success for girls’ education programs.

Category

Social Sciences

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 9:20 AM Apr 11th, 9:40 AM

Addressing the Menstruation Gap in International Development Efforts for Girls’ Education

Billions of dollars have been raised for and spent in low-income countries to increase access to education for girls. Yet despite countless projects to build additional schools, facilitate teacher training, and offer support to provide books, stationery, and school fees, there are many programs falling short of their goals due to low attendance and high dropout rates. I posit that failures in programs for girls’ education are partly due to a gap in development resources committed to addressing menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and cultural taboos. In a literature review of existing development project reports and data, I examined the relationship between girls’ school completion rates and limited social support during menstruation, unsanitary MHM supplies, and/or a lack of adequate bathroom facilities in school. I found that these factors affect girls’ attendance and dropout rates in the crucial years before and during secondary school. In order to demonstrate the potential progress of closing “the menstruation gap,” I reviewed current efforts by international and grassroots organizations working to address MHM on a global and local scale. Therefore, I argue that development agencies should begin to address MHM in their ongoing efforts to promote girls’ education. I further recommend that international development efforts should also endeavor to direct any new or existing MHM resources towards locally oriented and sustainable solutions to achieve objective success for girls’ education programs.