SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sat, 28 Nov 2015 20:12:45 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Announcement of MHM Dgroup discussion: “Breaking the Silence, what’s next? - by: Antoinette
I am pleased to inform you that the Dgroup on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools (MHM), will be organizing an email discussion on MHM called: “Breaking the Silence, what’s next?”

As you know, there has been a storm of activity and developments around the topic of MHM over the past 2-3 years. Many organizations in the sector have worked very hard to generate evidence, put the topic on the agenda of schools, local governments, national governments, development organizations etc. A lot of research has been done to generate detailed evidence about menstrual hygiene practices, barriers, the effects on girls’ well-being, education and reproductive health. It is encouraging that so much recognition of the importance of this topic has been achieved in so many countries across the world. We need this type of good news!

Of course there is still a lot to be done, in communities, schools and different countries. However, we also feel that it is timely to reflect on different approaches, lessons learned and long term sustainability of MHM efforts.

We will discuss the following three blocks:
Week timing block
Week 1 25th November to 1st December MHM at Scale: What does it mean to take MHM to scale?
Week 2 2nd – 8th December Sustainability of MHM: How can we ensure long-term sustainable access for girls in terms of facilities, menstrual materials and information?
Week 3 9th December – 15th December 2015 Scope of MHM: Should MHM programmes seek to contribute to equal opportunities for girls after they leave school?

This is an invitation for those interested in the MHM topic to join the discussion on


Antoinette Kome
Global Sector Coordinator WASH

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation ǁ Jl. Kemang Timur Raya No. 66 ǁ Jakarta Selatan 12730 ǁ Indonesia ǁ T + 62 (21) 719 9900 ext 129 (office) ǁ +62 812 1368 2672 (HP/mobile) ǁ]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Fri, 20 Nov 2015 10:02:34 +0000
Re: Various presentations about menstrual hygiene management at WEDC conference in July 2015 - by: ShahrukhMirza
Really interesting comments, and fascinating to learn how similar problems exist in Western Europe, but less visibly so. The importance of public sanitation cannot be overstated - in Bangladesh, the public sanitation crisis is severe and most women and girls have literally no options if they need to use the toilet while out of the home. We've been doing some interesting advocacy work, influencing Dhaka city's mayors to take up MHM-inclusive and accessible public toilets as a cause, and this is gaining momentum, but there's a long way to go. I'm now thinking how we can use the concept of SRPS to conduct research that can strengthen our advocacy, in the same way that the National Hygiene Baseline Survey was critical to convincing education authorities on the importance of good school sanitation.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 08 Nov 2015 08:54:08 +0000
Free webinar on Menstrual Hygiene Management within CLTS - Thursday 26th November 2015, 10-11.30am (GMT) - by: Petra . Drawing on current thinking and experience, .the webinar will explore how Community-Led Total Sanitation programmes can be expanded to address MHM in schools and communities to alleviate additional stresses placed on women and girls.

Sign up for the free webinar here]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:27:09 +0000
Re: Various presentations about menstrual hygiene management at WEDC conference in July 2015 - by: SusannahClemence The conceptualisation of Sanitation-Related Psycho-social Stress (SRPS) is neat - and well-overdue!
I relate all these excellent studies and initiatives back to my experience here in Western Europe, where we have so much to learn. SRPS is not studied here, as far as I know, although it's a real problem, comparable perhaps not to the same degree, although for the same reasons to those reported in South Asia and with similar outcomes.
For example: there used to be many public toilets in my town. It was unheard-of for anyone to urinate or defecate publicly, unless drunk and under cover of darkness, in which case they risked being arrested. In the past year, the seven installations have been reduced to one, and people have to walk a long way to it, often finding it closed. The result is that men over 60 and others who cannot hold urine or faeces for long simply avoid going into town, opting to drive to supermarkets instead, where toilets are provided for customers. The town has become somewhat desolate (there are other factors).
Again, in my job teaching children who find it difficult to attend school due to anxiety or ill-health, of those (boys) whom I have asked, all report that they would hold onto urine and faeces all day long rather than use school toilets. One had to go home to use the toilet during our lesson; he said 'none of the school toilets have locks on the doors'.
As for MHM, water for washing out cups, pads or sponges or for rinsing the genitals within the cubicle of a public toilet is almost unheard-of. Re-usable pads are in circulation but never seen drying in the sun. Disposable pads and tampons are put 'out of sight and out of mind', ie into incinerators, down flush toilets or onto landfill - never composted. Westerners will recognise the eye-covering gesture of the man in the Masika documentary ( 0:58) confronted by a menstrual item.
In the urban West, open-air defecation, urination or menstrual changing is not an option to those seeking a clean, private place. We need to take public sanitary provision just as seriously here as in India or Kenya rather than assume that because the problem is, as yet, invisible, it doesn't exist.
So all of these initiatives, in education, in infrastructure, in open discussion and acceptance of real people's needs and practices, are valuable for us in the West too.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 15 Oct 2015 20:22:03 +0000
Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems - by: muench
Your wrote:
We've just completed a landscape of menstrual cups, of which there are many! We expect to share the findings early next year. It's fascinating to see studies showing their use and acceptability among women and adolescents in a number of low-resource settings. We are considering approaches that might address some of the barriers to use.

This sounds really interesting, please do share your findings as soon as possible here in this category on the forum. (Perhaps I should even start a dedicated sub-Sub category on menstrual cups? We have had several threads about them)

By the way, I have in the past contributed to improving the Wikipedia article on menstrual cups:

If you have ideas on how to improve it further or know of good new, reputable references to cite, please let me know.

I've worked with Penny Philips-Howard from Liverpool Uni to improve the section on toxic shock syndrome (or lack thereof) for menstrual cups. We struggled to find decent references to underpin our statements, see here:

Perhaps you can help with this? You know Wikipedia is one of the first things people turn to when looking for any information concerning the human body, health and related products...

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:06:49 +0000
Re: MHM for biogas systems in schools - by: RachelTTextiles
Would be happy to discuss greater details with any interested parties.

Rachel Starkey
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:09:34 +0000
Re: Various presentations about menstrual hygiene management at WEDC conference in July 2015 - by: ShahrukhMirza
Just attaching my presentation here, in case anyone prefers a quick summary of the paper on 'Mainstreaming MHM - Lessons from a decade of programme and policy work'. I am also linking to a copy of the Bangladesh National Hygiene Baseline Survey, which is the first ever nationally representative survey of hygiene behavior in Bangladesh conducted by ICDDR,B with support from WaterAid. The survey had a component on menstrual hygiene management which I referenced in the presentation, and gives some really interesting insights into MHM practices and perceived impact on school attendance -

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 13 Oct 2015 08:36:13 +0000
Re: Presentations about MHM at WEDC conference in July 2015 - by: muench
I have now received the presentation by Vinod Mishra also as a pdf file. I am attaching it below.
And here's the slide that caught my attention as it summarises a whole range of issues so well:

If you have questions about this presentation, please put them here and I will forward them to Vinod.

His e-mail said:


Sorry for delay in reply, Please find attached my presentation during WEDC on MHM.

Best Regards,


Vinod K. Mishra
Country India National Coordinator
at Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council ( WSSCC), Geneva
(An international organization within United Nations system works to achieve sustainable sanitation, hygiene and water supply for all people)
Coordinator, Key Resource Centre, Water & Sanitation, Centre for Good Governance, UAoA]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 28 Sep 2015 10:54:09 +0000
Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems - by: madeleine Lovely to hear from you again. Long time no see. I was invited to write this article and as you can see I am still concerned many issues related the menstrual management and sanitation system. I have been following your work and it is really interesting . Thanks for sharing your resources that is really a good source of information. I am looking forward to the landscape study on menstrual cups. I was very happy that other day when my daughter asked me to get her a menstrual cup. I bought here a fashionable Ruby cup and the best part of the deal was that when I purched the cup in Sweden I was also paying for a cup to school girl in Kenya. Very nice. A lot has truly advanced within this field since we had the kick off meeting in Maryland years ago and that is very satisfactory for me! Stay well and I am really happy that you got in touch. Warm regards]]> Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 02 Sep 2015 20:39:24 +0000 Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems - by: madeleine I am happy that you liked the article in the guardian.
Yes it is really annoying that you many time cannot find washing facilities inside public toilets . Happens quite often in Sweden as well.
While trying to find the report here is a recent interesting article on this topic]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 02 Sep 2015 20:31:30 +0000
Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems - by: Nancy
What a great article! I've shared it through social media - such important topics, both of which need much more attention in terms of impact on each other. I'm attaching a link to PATH's WASH website where we have posted a number of outputs from our work with Vivian Hoffmann/University of Maryland and partners including SEI on menstrual management and sanitation systems.

There are so many issues that are not often considered, as you point out. The lack of consideration for how to contain and then finally dispose of used menstrual hygiene products is one. With more women and girls using disposable pads, appropriate systems and awareness-raising will be very much needed. Reusable products offer an important option though different types of products are needed for different contexts of use and users. We've just completed a landscape of menstrual cups, of which there are many! We expect to share the findings early next year. It's fascinating to see studies showing their use and acceptability among women and adolescents in a number of low-resource settings. We are considering approaches that might address some of the barriers to use.

Best wishes,
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:54:44 +0000
Re: Menstruation management and Santiation systems - by: SusannahClemence I would like to read the AC Nielsen report - can you (or anyone, please!) advise how to access it?
I wish it were true that private washing facilities were available in shared toilets here in the UK - at least through this open discussion people might eventually feel more able to rinse reusables, such as cups, in public washbasins, even if we can't exactly wash ourselves.
Brilliant about marathon runner. What an example of taboo-busting.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 30 Aug 2015 08:34:13 +0000
Menstruation management and Sanitation systems - by: madeleine It was great pleasure to meet that many of you in Stockholm. I think it was a superactive and interesting SuSanA week.
I hope to see some of you soon in other meetings or online discussions throughout the year.
Before World Water Week I was invited by WSSCC to write a blog for Guardian about menstruation management and saniation system
It was published during the week and I am happy to share it with you.
In the article I call for more knowledge about how menstruation interact with sanitation system. It would be great to have some input on this topic within this group.
Please share the link so that the call on more resources will reach the ones that possess those.
all the best from sunny Stockholm in the aftermath of the World Water Week]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:05:08 +0000
Fwd: [SuSanA forum] worldwide study of menstrual management (Menstrual hygiene management (MHM)) - by: SusannahClemence
---------- 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 ( 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,
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
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'

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,

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:43:01 +0000