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Will they cotton on? An investigation into schoolgirls use of low-cost sanitary pads in Uganda

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thesis
posted on 24.08.2020, 14:02 by Tracey J. Crofts
Today, all over the world, millions of women are menstruating. For some, this natural monthly occurrence will pass almost unregistered, yet for others it will cause significant disruption to their daily lives. The disparity in experience may be attributed to factors such as the quality of water and sanitation facilities, accessibility to protection materials and pain relief, physiological understanding and hygiene behaviour. In low-income countries, where many of these factors are invariably limited, women tend to struggle more than their counterparts in high-income countries. Additionally, social systems, political indifference and cultural customs may compound womenʼs vulnerabilities, reducing their capacity to adequately manage their monthly periods. Hygiene interventions are therefore required not only to meet the pressing needs of the poor, but also to address this matter of injustice. In order to address a matter, it must first be understood. Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) in low-income countries is a relatively new area of study, so there are plenty of avenues still to be researched. Fundamental to them all, is a sound comprehension of the experiences of poor women and the reasons for their current behaviours. Both the problems and the coping strategies need to be analysed. The problems faced during menstruation are all too familiar to poor women. Even the non-poor may be able to correctly identify and empathise with some of them. Information gathering about MHM problems is of little value unless it leads to action. When embarking on this research, it was the authorʼs intention to go beyond publishing facts about menstrual hygiene problems to proposing practical solutions, or, at the very least, paving a way for someone else to do so.

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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