Moving forward: findings from menstrual hygiene management formative research in Bangladesh

Menstruation is a fact of life for 2 billion women and girls of reproductive age and yet in many places girls face serious barriers to managing their periods. These barriers impact on their rights to education, health, dignity and participation in society. Plan International is implementing menstrual hygiene management activities in 12 countries across Africa and Asia. In 2016, Plan International contracted Oral Testimony Works and Creative Social Change to conduct formative research in Bangladesh on menstrual hygiene management, using human centred design and other participatory methods. This paper presents some of the primary participatory research findings: on practice, motivators and barriers to managing menstruation safely, privately and hygienically. The paper also includes some of the programme recommendations and suggested approaches for Plan International to use in the re-design and implementation of current and future menstrual hygiene management work in Bangladesh.