Lizzie Kearon

Publication Date



education, sexual health, women




Women and girls in East Africa, as well as many other parts of the world, live in a culture where menstruation and reproductive health are not discussed. This is because menstruation and anything related to it is considered taboo. Both women and girls often do not understand the reproductive cycle of their bodies or know how to manage their menstruation. Girls commonly miss or drop out of school because they do not understand what is happening to them or are unaware of how to hygienically manage their natural cycle. The issue is perpetuated by menstrual hygiene products being expensive and hard to obtain, as well as a lack of easy access to clean water and latrine privacy. Girls are negatively affected in many ways. including a compromised education from missing school. infection or disease due to lack of hygiene, and pressure to engage in transactional sex in order to obtain menstrual hygiene products. Current best practices that aim to improve menstrual hygiene management include providing girls with menstrual hygiene education through workshops and magazines, and increasing accessibility of menstrual hygiene products through distribution of reusable pads.