SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication http://forum.susana.org/ Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:29:56 +0000 Kunena 1.6 http://forum.susana.org/components/com_kunena/template/default/images/icons/rss.png SuSanA - Forum http://forum.susana.org/ en-gb Fwd: [SuSanA forum] worldwide study of menstrual management (Menstrual hygiene management (MHM)) - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14591 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14591
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Susannah Clemence
Date: Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:35 PM
Subject: Re: [SuSanA forum] worldwide study of menstrual management (Menstrual hygiene management (MHM))
To: SuSanA forum < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

This is great! Thank you so much for your reply, Thilde - really helpful.

I use the term 'phenomenological' based on my own understanding of the definitions I have read, eg Lester, 1999 (www.sld.demon.co.uk/resmethy.pdf). Possibly I'm slightly warping its meaning to suit my own.

I mean that I want to collect and present data from across the world on how women are ACTUALLY managing menstruation in the lived world, in the present, without prejudging, as far as I am able, practices as good or bad. My reasoning is that it may enable cross-fertilising of diverse ideas, illuminate different attitudes and ways of thinking, perhaps provide insights that are inspiring, helpful and refreshing to each other.

I want to include explanations women themselves give as to why they use their menstrual management methods.

I don't expect to take primary data from more than about 6 or 7, hopefully widely diverse, nationalities/cultures. It'll just be a start.
I am interested in what your student is studying, and I would like to read more about it.
Yes, I think I'll stick with the description 'phenomenological'. Even though it's hard to spell!

Thanks again,
Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:51:53 +0000
Fwd: [SuSanA forum] Critical commentary from India - Why India Doesn?t Need The Sanitary Napkin Revolution (Menstrual hygiene management (MHM)) - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14590 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14590
About evidence on culture of hiding menstruation (in England at least): Norma O'Flynn (2006)
'Menstrual symptoms: the importance of social factors in women's experiences'
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1934056/

My experience is England, and I'm older (61): I am coming to realise that attitudes vary widely and quite locally, also that young people, (thanks to campaigning educators), are much less hung-up about talking about their periods. However only last week I overheard two young but experienced secondary school science teachers admitting that they feel embarrassed to teach the menstrual cycle, even to girls, and will gloss over it or hope that someone else has covered it so they don't have to. As a science teacher myself in special schools for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties (many become pregnant at 13-16) I found that many students had missed 'sex education' lessons. I was anxiously reprimanded by a fifteen-year old for teaching him the subject, even though it is on the curriculum (I responded that his reaction showed me that it was exactly what I should be teaching him!).

Harder to assess what parents say to their children without serious study, but a teaching colleague with Dutch roots told me young people are told much less in England than in Holland.

Men I know in England tend to express embarrassment when the subject is brought up - but again those are mostly older men. A 40-year-old father had no idea what I was talking about! I have never heard of a father talking about menstruation to his daughter - but then I have never asked, and the subject has never come up.

On the other hand, I have met several African and Indian women and men who have dumbfounded Westerners with their apparent lack of inhibition in talking about menstruation. They might not have been a representative sample... I have also read of men and women in the Middle and Far East openly citing menstruation as a reason for absence from work (in a man's case, in order to do the cooking as his wife was menstruating). This would never be admitted in England, as O'Flynn confirms.

I probably overstated it, but my point is that we should be very cautious when making assumptions about cultures we don't really know.

Thanks for your comments, Elisabeth! Much appreciated,

Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:43:01 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14592 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14592 I'm English, and I believe we in the West have a lot to learn from India, Africa, in fact many other cultures.

In England, at least, we are notoriously inhibited about anything to do with sex - yes, it's still true! This has led to an orthodoxy that menstruation is "not to be mentioned", and everything related is dirty and embarrassing. We are struggling to change that, but our culture is by no means "over it".

I think it is important in all these studies and "interventions" to look first, very critically, at one's own assumptions and definitions.
First: "hygiene": who is being "protected" and from what "contaminant"? When studies ask "how hygienic is this woman?" they often purport to be concerned with the woman's health - in which case you might expect them to discourage the collection and holding of menses in or near the body (eg in pads or tampons), because that could possibly lead to bacterial build-up. Examples of practices that avoid this include the Lao women in Liyen Chin's study (2014, on the SuSanA forum) who simply wear double-thick skirts, and wash frequently. However, the implied message is "yuck, this menstruating woman is dirty, don't let her/it near me!" ie the person being protected is the non-menstruator.

Then: "protection" - from what? I applaud those (again, all, so far, in India!) who affirm that "[fresh] menstrual blood is not dirty or toxic". Please spread that message to the West!

Thirdly: "sanitary": let us be clear, if there is anything insanitary about menstruation it is used disposable pads with nowhere to go, when they cause toilets to block and faeces to overflow. The term somehow overflows itself, so that menses itself becomes regarded as "unsanitary", and any spot of blood from a vagina gives people the horrors.

I fully admit to having had to face and hopefully overcome a lot of these irrational fears myself in the past year of studying the subject. For that, I am grateful to this forum, and to many mainly non-Western women (and some marvellous men) for talking face-to-face and online about the ways they view menstruation. I've had to face up to the fact that claiming I am "respecting" others, eg by using euphemisms and skirting round the subject, has often been a get-out for not challenging taboos. When they are acknowledged and not challenged, taboos are reinforced.

Now, I look forward to learning from more of the World about better ways we can manage menstruation, to overcome the big problems we have in the West, not only our attitudes (which, for instance, prevent English users of reusable pads from hanging them out to dry in the sun - despite telling everyone else to do so!), but also the waste-disposal and pain-management and working-pattern difficulties.

Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:17:00 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: vishakhagoyal http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14558 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14558 here is the link of article which reflects the summary of this report.I am working on key issues of Menstrual health and sanitation practises in India,entrepreneurial opportunities and social traits.my study is in infancy stage so I can't share much.data is major constrain here rather in India it is one of the neglected area. one PPP project has also undertaken in this era.you can check if it is of any use for you.
1.www.unicef.org/india/health_3623.htm
2. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/70-can...icleshow/7344998.cms]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:39:04 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: arundatimd http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14555 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14555
I am a researcher who works on MHM and sanitation. I am planning to conduct a large scale systematic review on MHM interventions to study what works, why, and in which settings, with a focus on low and middle income countries. My main issue is funding such an intensive research study. So if anyone has any ideas on who can fund such a study, please do share. I am also happy to collaborate with others to take this forward.

Best,
Arundati
Arundati Muralidharan
Senior Research Fellow, Public Health Foundation of India
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 18 Aug 2015 05:17:20 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: kengelly http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14545 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14545
In relation to a global study related to MHM, my organization Population Services International is exploring this space and if/how we can integrated MHM into some of our activities. We're active in sanitation but also have a robust family planning and reproductive health department through which we could work as well.

I'm seeking contact information - either yours or anyone you may recommend - of experts/anyone with more knowledge than me with regard to MHM so that we can reach out about possible consultancies but also to better understand what everyone is up to to see how we can position ourselves to be complementary and leverage the progress that has been made, if PSI is to start activities in this area.

If anyone is interested in sharing their work/experience/info, please feel free to email me directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Many thanks!!

-Genevieve]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:44:52 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14532 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14532
Thanks for your post, welcome to the forum. Could you please tell us more about this study (do you have a URL for it?) and about your own work with menstrual hygiene management?

Dear all,

At the recent WEDC conference (see here), there were several papers on menstrual hygiene management (MHM).

I have attached them below. The titles were:

Menstrual health management in
disasters: understanding the silent
need in recovery using case studies
from Assam and Odisha
Krishnan, S. (2235)





Universalization of sanitary napkin
use is not menstrual hygiene
management
Chadha, D. (2131)




Mainstreaming menstrual hygiene
management: lessons from a
decade of programme and policy
work
Mirza, S. Y. (2163)




Social and psychological impact of
limited access to sanitation: MHM
and reproductive tract infections
Mishra, V. K. (2140)




Putting girls at the centre of
menstrual health management: Girls
for Girls
Kidney, M. (2224)




Training on Menstrual Hygiene Management:
Addressing the practical needs of women and girls in WASH
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
- for this one I don't have any materials, we could ask WSSCC if they could post what they used?


The presentation by Vinod Mishra (Country National Coordinator, WSSCC India) was very well received. He was even asked to repeat his plea in the closing session: he urged all men to "start small" and help break the taboo by speaking to their daughters, wives, female friends and relatives about this topic, and supporting them.

Here are two slides from his presentation that I took with my phone camera and used in twitter (you see also Julie Fisher who was the session chair):





A couple of further points:
  1. The topic of menopause was raised. I liked the slide above which showed the different "life stages in a woman's life". The menstruation part is from 14-45 years typically but there are also other important stages which have connections to WASH, like menopause where women again have special needs.
  2. Someone showed a photo of Indian girls with school uniforms with white pants. Someone in the audience said "have you thought about changing the colour of the school uniforms to make it less obvious when there is a blood stain?" (good point, I thought).
  3. The issue of reproductive tract infections from lack of menstrual hygiene management came up. This could be a useful entry point for discussing the importance of MHM. However, one should also be wary of falling into the trap of reinforcing partriarchial messages here (i.e. "a girl is only seen as a future mother; if she can't be a mother then there is something wrong with her"). About this issue, see also the article "Why Using Patriarchal Messaging to Promote Toilets is a Bad Idea": thewire.in/2015/06/07/why-using-patriarc...-is-a-bad-idea-3402/

I hope that others who attended the WEDC conference will also share their learnings on MHM here. I will also e-mail the presenters and ask them if they could post their presentations. Personally, I like presentations very much, and I think they provide a better initial entry point than a full paper does.

Regards,
Elisabeth]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 17 Aug 2015 08:51:54 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: vishakhagoyal http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14531 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14531 I am Vishakha working as assistant Professor, there was a study done in India “Sanitary Protection: Every Women’s Health Right", this study by AC Nielsen reveals only 12 % of India’s 355 million women use sanitary napkins. Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like unsanitised cloth, ashes and husk sand. Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) are 70% more common among these women.
Data is major constrain to study this topic but lot of research is needed]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 17 Aug 2015 07:10:52 +0000
Re: Worldwide study of menstrual management - looking at the literature on global MHM, existing practices - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14508 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management-looking-at-the-literature-on-global-mhm-existing-practices#14508 I've been reviewing the current literature on menstrual management techniques across the world, and I'd like to share a version of a presentation I gave (SMCR conference, Boston, June 2015) on this study. I'd be interested to get feedback.

It's a very condensed discussion about the content and tone of the contemporary literature on the range of menstrual management practices across the World, and the concerns it throws up.

Thanks,
Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Fri, 14 Aug 2015 20:00:01 +0000
Re: Critical commentary from India - Why India Doesn’t Need The Sanitary Napkin Revolution - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14255 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14255
That thing about not necessarily promoting disposable pads because it creates a solid waste problem I would also agree with.

The argument might fall apart though if you take menstrual cups. This is a product that women from developed and developing countries enjoy using alike (and it's a minority in both societies so far who uses that). Mind you one difference is that issue about "unmarried women" not meant to use something that is inserted (i.e. no tampons either). Here, I like though how Penny Phillips-Howard has challenged us by saying:

The general view when talking to professionals here is that menstrual cups would not be used by girls [saying they can only be used by 'married' women], but there is no evidence to show this either way. maybe they are right, but it would be good to validate. One paper in Nepalese schoolgirls (Oster and Thornton) suggests girls will use, I attach the file.


(see her post here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-men...g-environments#14163)

Anyway, the opinion piece by Sinu Joseph does leave me wondering if some issues are sometimes "hyped up" to get more funding and attention (getting attention for menstrual hygiene issues is at the moment in general a good thing, to pull it out of the taboo corner).
Susannah, can you elaborate on:
Added to this, the West has MORE of a problem with hiding away menstruation and its paraphernalia than some other cultures


It's hard to compare it exactly and yes, taboos exist also in Western societies around menstruation but I would argue they are indeed quite a bit less severe and serious than what I have read about for some other cultures. Take the example of mothers not talking to their daughters about menstruation, I would say that's pretty rare in the West, isn't it? Girls not knowing what happens when they start bleeding? Very rare. School curriculums not teaching kids about menstruation? Also rare. Girls too embarrassed to ask their father for money to buy menstrual hygiene products? Rare, I would have thought?]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:36:19 +0000
Critical commentary from India - Why India Doesn’t Need The Sanitary Napkin Revolution - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14253 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14253 swarajyamag.com/culture/why-india-doesnt...y-napkin-revolution/

I find this perspective from Sinu Joseph whom I met at the SMCR conference, very interesting.

My own studies of the current literature on global menstrual management practices show that long-standing, tried-and-tested local practices tend to be referred to as deficit. When replaced by 'Western' methods eg disposable pads, these import the same problems as they already cause the West - ie disposal, toxic fumes from incineration, etc. Added to this, the West has MORE of a problem with hiding away menstruation and its paraphernalia than some other cultures (vide Nikki Dunnavant's experiences in Nepal, where 'everybody knew' when she was menstruating).

Perhaps we should look to learn more from 'developing' nations, and bring some of this knowledge back to the West.

Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:53:13 +0000
Re: New Frontiers Issue 6: Breaking the next taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS - by: Petra http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14242 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14242 www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/reso...-hygiene-within-clts

Thanks for letting me know.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 08:49:03 +0000
Re: New Frontiers Issue 6: Breaking the next taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS - by: F H Mughal http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14237 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14237
The link is not working. It is giving Error 404.

Regards,

F H Mughal]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:24:45 +0000
New Frontiers Issue 6: Breaking the next taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS - by: Petra http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14225 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14225

www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/reso...-hygiene-within-clts]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:03:30 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: Camilla http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14166 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14166
Thank you for your input and sharing of information.

The cup has many advantages not only in these situations but for all women.

We focus a lot on hygiene in our trainings and girls do bring a bottle of clean water for rinsing the cup to schools, a bit like bringing water for washing when going to the toilet.

Camilla]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:54:19 +0000