Key documents for the sub-category on menstrual hygiene management (outdated, see newer version)


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  • Esther
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Re: Key documents for the sub-category on menstrual hygiene management

Dear Elisabeth

Read the shared articles and I appreciate the information.

I am managing School Hygiene Promotion and MHM project in 15 schools here in Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.

Thank you for the information.

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  • Elisabeth
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Key documents for the sub-category on menstrual hygiene management

This post is now outdated. There is a more recent one, see the pinned thread at the top of this sub-category


This thread is a "sticky thread" which means it will always remain at the top of this sub-category.
It contains a recommendation for new people regarding the most important five documents in the thematic area of "menstrual hygiene management (MHM)".

The initial selection was done by me and Ina Jurga, but this is open for discussion and can be adjusted regularly.

Recommended top five documents in the thematic area of "menstrual hygiene management (MHM)" in reverse chronological order: *

UNESCO (2014). Puberty Education & Menstrual Hygiene Management. Good Policy and Practice in Health Education, Booklet 9, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France
Link to download

Every year a new cohort of learners reaches puberty. Yet, despite the urgent and recurring need, there is little systematic and comprehensive guidance on this vital subject for the education sector. UNESCO and partners have teamed up to fill this gap by developing the next volume in the UNESCO series on Good Policy and Practice in Health Education. This volume is designed to articulate a rationale for the education sector to improve school health by addressing puberty education and menstrual hygiene management; to describe good policies and practices from different global contexts; and to provide clear action steps for administrators, practitioners and advocates to take on these issues in their education sector.

UNICEF, Columbia University (2014). WASH in Schools - Empowers Girls' Education - Proceedings of Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conferences (2012 and 2013). UNICEF, New York, USA and Columbia University, USA

WASH in Schools (WinS) fosters social inclusion and individual self-respect. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, it empowers all students – and especially encourages girls and female teachers. In recognition of the positive impact on girls’ school attendance and achievement, initiatives around the world are addressing adolescent girls’ menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs through WinS programming. Such interventions are increasingly implemented in both development and humanitarian emergency contexts.

Sumpter C., Torondel B. (2013). A Systematic Review of the Health and Social Effects of Menstrual Hygiene Management. PLoS ONE 8(4): e62004. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062004
Link to download

Differing approaches to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) have been associated with a wide range of health and psycho-social outcomes in lower income settings. This paper systematically collates, summarizes and critically appraises the available evidence. - There is a gap in the evidence for high quality randomised intervention studies which combine hardware and software interventions, in particular for better understanding the nuanced effect improving MHM may have on girls’ attendance at school.

House, S., Mahon, T., Cavill, S. (2012). Menstrual hygiene matters - A resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world. WaterAid, UK
Link to WaterAid page for download

The main purpose of this resource is to provide a comprehensive resource on menstrual hygiene that supports the development of context-specific information for improving practices for women and girls in lower- and middle-income countries.

Kjellén, M., Pensulo, C., Nordqvist, P., Fogde, M. (2012). Global review of sanitation systems trends and interactions with menstrual management practices - Report for the menstrual management and sanitation systems project. Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Stockholm, Sweden

This review of sanitation system trends and interactions with menstrual management practices has been conducted as part of the broader project on Menstrual Management and Sanitation Systems. It starts with a review of trends in the development of urban sanitation systems and then explores the interaction between menstrual management and sanitation systems, mainly relating to the issue of disposal of used menstrual blood absorption materials. Finally, it proposes a framework of interactions by positioning a range of issues of particular relevance for menstrual management into the different parts of the sanitation system.

You can find further important documents and website links dealing with this topic here:
  • We invite you to browse the SuSanA library by using the search term MHM:
  • 28 May has been declared as Menstrual Hygiene Day, hopefully one day this will become an offical annual United Nation's Day. This initiative has a website (set up by WASH United) which has a page with many resources on MHM:
  • The following Wikipedia articles exist on this topic:
Please provide your feedback. What do you think of this selection? We can update it from time to time.


* The documents recommended here all focus on issues in developing countries and countries in transition. However, some of the underlying principles would apply more or less to all countries of the world.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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