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Improving menstrual hygiene facilities in secondary schools Initiatives from BRAC-WASH Program - Bangladesh

Published on: 12/12/2011

This presentation describes the WASH in Schools activities of the BRAC-WASH program in Bangladesh. Along with financial support from school authorities, BRAC WASH is constructing separate sanitary latrines for girls with menstrual hygiene facilities in secondary schools. It also addresses the management and maintenance of the provided facilities.

A key priority for women and girls is to have necessary knowledge, facilities, and cultural environment to manage menstruation hygienically and with dignity. In the life of a woman, she has to manage 3000 days of menstruation. For her basic schooling period ranging from grade IV to X the number of such days is 450. Across the developing world, the lack of appropriate and adequate sanitation facilities prevent girls from attending schools, particularly when they are menstruating. Despite major developments in the hygiene and sanitation sector in recent years, the menstrual requirement of women and adolescent girls has largely been ignored.

To address these issues BRAC-WASH along with financial support from school authorities is constructing separate sanitary latrines for girls with menstrual hygiene facilities in secondary schools. For better management and maintenance of the provided facilities, ‘Student brigades’ and ‘School WASH Committees’ are formed in each school. To further sensitize the students and teachers, training and orientations have been organized in different parts of Bangladesh. School authorities are being made conscious to make sanitary napkins available for girls in schools in times of need. Field experience shows girls are now attending schools with much more confidence and comfort even during their menstruation.

Though a large number of schools are optimistic in addressing the issues surrounding menstrual hygiene there are some obstacles too, however the program is trying its best to overcome the problems.

 

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