Focus Areas

Menstrual Hygiene and WASH

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and WASH capacity building workshop for educators

PROBLEM: Woman on an average spends a decade of her life menstruating. Women experience pain and lack energy during their periods. Due to cultural beliefs surrounding sexual reproductive health and blood, they face limitations in managing their menstruation as well as their participation in daily live. Lack of information of how to maintain proper hygiene often leads to infections. Since women in India often don’t have access to affordable, good quality sanitary napkins or proper WASH facilities, it is almost impossible to manage their menstruation in a healthy way. And this impacts their personal development, economic status and health. Also in India, 23 million girls drop out of school early when they start menstruating and many of them end up facing acute health problems. The number of menstruating women in India is 355 million, which accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the entire country’s population.

The Menstruation surely continues to be a subject of gender disparity in our country. Myths about menstruation are largely prevalent, forcing many girls to drop out of school early or be ostracised for the duration of their menstrual cycle every month. Report published by Dasra a civil society organisation in 2014 which was titled as “Spot On!” which says that and we quote “Nearly 23 million girls drop out of school annually due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities, which include availability of sanitary napkins and logical awareness of menstruation. The report also came up with some startling numbers. 70 per cent of families with menstruating daughters considered menstruation as dirty and 71 per cent adolescent girls remained unaware of menstruation till menarche. A 2014 UNICEF report pointed out that “In Tamil Nadu, 79 per cent girls and women were unaware of menstrual hygiene practices. In addition it also had observation which stated 66% in Uttar Pradesh, 56% in Rajasthan and 51% in West Bengal.”

Lack of awareness is a major problem in India’s MHM scenario. Indian Council for Medical Research’s 2011-12 report stated that only 38 per cent menstruating girls in India spoke to their mothers about menstruation. Many parents do feel the challenge on how to explain it to their child. Schools also did not have necessary sanitary infrastructure and did not discuss menstrual hygiene with their students. A 2015 survey by the Ministry of Education found that and we quote “In 63% schools in villages, teachers never discussed menstruation and how to deal with it in a hygienic manner.”

Training of Trainers of Zilla Parishad Teachers on Gender, Sexuality and Menstrual Hygiene.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: In order to achieve impact in the above mentioned focus area, a possible solution can be suggested as follows which includes - Improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls in the intervention areas along with focus to improve awareness, knowledge of the importance of hygiene management and also to improve access to sanitary options is one of the most pragmatic approach we believe that can make a difference. Together with two local partners, it is the responsibility of civil society organization to train teachers / health workers / activist / educators on menstrual hygiene management MHM, WASH and gender equality. By raising awareness and training these influential stakeholders in the villages/cities/institutions, communities can change their view on menstruation and increase demand for menstrual hygiene management.

What we do

We at ROSHNI Foundation believe that teachers and educators play an important role in disseminating knowledge among adolescent’s about menstrual hygiene. Formerly this initiative was known as The Period Project. The trained educators from our sessions can than further reach out to communities. So on request made by schools/ colleges/ organisations, we intend to conduct the below mentioned capacity building training of trainer (ToT) workshops for teachers and educators helping them understand menstrual hygiene management, MHM best practices, train them as facilitators and also help them understand how to minimise barriers.

Our training of the trainer (ToT) workshops and awareness sessions for teachers are based on the following:

  • Workshop and capacity development session of teachers to equip them as menstrual hygiene awareness facilitators
  • We also conduct focused group discussion with men and boys on menstrual hygiene, body literacy and gender.
  • Awareness activities within communities;
  • Advocacy on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and WASH related issues

Our training of trainer (ToT) workshops and awareness sessions includes participatory techniques and personal reflections, group activities, role-plays, brainstorming sessions, games, PowerPoint presentations, video screenings and discussions. We are looking for civil society organisations, colleges, corporates, etc. to partner with us for the same.

Zilla Parishad Teachers Training of Trainer workshop on Menstrual Hygiene and Reproductive Rights with our patner org Sukhibhava

Sustainable Development Goals in our Focus Area of Menstrual Hygiene and WASH are as follows:

Menstrual Hygiene and WASH matters to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Let's take a moment to reflect which SDG Goals are impacted because of it: