The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.
The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

Menstruation and the Cycle of Poverty: does the provision of sanitary pads improve the attendance and educational outcomes of girls in school?

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Principal Investigator: Catherine Dolan. Lead Organisation: School of Oriental and African Studies

Co-investigators: Paul Montgomery; Linda Marie Scott; Caitlin Ryus

Poor menstrual knowledge and access to sanitary products have been proposed as barriers to menstrual health and school attendance. Previously there has been no research to support this assertion. This study, a randomised control trial that assessed the impact of providing reusable sanitary pads and puberty education on girls' school attendance and psychosocial wellbeing outcomes, was the first to investigate this issue. The results of the trial support the hypothesised positive impact of providing sanitary pads or puberty education for girls' school attendance in a developing country context. Through the findings emerged at the end of the research project, and have only recently been disseminated, we are already seeing an increase in coverage of the issue in both media and policy circles. Menstrual Health was not included n the Sustainable Development Goals and in October 2016, the project team convened members of academia, nongovernmental organizations, donor agencies, and practitioners to discuss ways forward. Six core themes emerged as actionable avenues to provide guidance and improve the inclusion of menstrual management on policy agendas of education, health and gender sectors.

Further Resources:

Primary theme: 
Grant Reference: 
Project Status: 
Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Lead Organisation Department: 
Anthropology and Sociology
Fund Start Date: 
October 1st, 2013
Fund End Date: 
December 31st, 2014
Fund Currency Code: 
Fund Value: