Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is an essential aspect of hygiene that must be followed by adolescent girls and women between menarche and menopause. Although it is an important topic, there is limited evidence of MHM every day. Since Menstruation is a naturally occurring physiological phenomenon in women immediate relief activities by humanitarian agencies, lacked MHM activities. Women still use reusable sanitary cloths as a way to address menstrual hygiene and are highly susceptible to reproductive and urinary tract infections. The materials used as adsorbents during menstruation in low-income countries including Nepal vary from reusable towels (cloth torn from dresses of women and cotton fabric), and/or disposable sanitary napkins.

In the context of Nepal, during menstruation women, are not accessible to sanitary napkins easily, nor are they equipped well with sufficient water and sanitation materials such as clean water, soap, hygienic toilet, etc. People are still unaware of the hazards and diseases brought by unhealthy practices. In rural areas, 53 percent of girls are compelled to miss school during periods. Even in urban areas, the toilets are not female-friendly and lack sanitation facilities due to which girls are left to manage their periods in ineffective, uncomfortable, and unhygienic ways. About three out of four adolescent girls use re-useable clothes during menses which makes them more likely to suffer from infections. The use of sanitary pads among adolescent girls in urban areas is higher in comparison to adolescent girls in rural areas, while the use of old pieces of cloth is higher among rural than urban adolescent girls. Lack of information about sanitary napkins, high cost, and limited availability are the main reasons for adolescent girls not using sanitary napkins.

Around 40 to 60% of adolescent girls dry their reusable napkins/cloths under direct sunlight outside the house, but others are still reluctant to dry them in the sun because, in Hindu society, there is a strong belief that the sun is a god, and it should not be shown to a god or else it is a sin. Likewise, they dry their reusable sanitary pads in dark places because if seen by others, boys and men might tease the girls which lead women to infection. In both rural and urban schools, proper disposal of pads and clothes poses a significant challenge, the majority of girls bury or throw used pads with other garbage, while very few of them burn the used pads. The problem is even more serious in Far and Mid-Western parts of Nepal where women are deported to the shed outside the home known as Menstrual Huts "Chhau Goth", despite its ban during their entire period. Chhaupadi comes from ancient Hindu scriptures that consider secretions associated with menstruation and childbirth to be religiously “impure,” deeming women “untouchable,” and prohibiting menstruating women and girls from inhabiting public space, socializing with others, and sharing food and water sources. Inside the Menstrual Huts, every girl is susceptible to cold, snake bites, infections, and even worse rapes and sexual abuse. Such practices reinforce the impacts of the reproductive health of women and limit women's social and cultural growth. However, beliefs and customs are gradually changing, even today, in many parts of the country, women and girls either are forced to spend three to four days outside of their homes often in sheds or a separate room/area while they are menstruating.

Young adolescent girls tend to be less prepared for MHM and suffer from anxiety, apprehensions, fear, and embarrassment during their menses. In addition, pre-existing social taboos and cultural restraints. An estimated 290,000 women and adolescent girls in Nepal menstruate every day. Menstruation is a normal part of life, yet many women and adolescent girls face significant obstacles to achieving healthy and hygienic practices in Nepal. Despite this great need, there have been notably very few healthy and hygienic menstrual practices in Nepal. Furthermore, different awareness programs can be conducted in different regions of the country to spread knowledge, enhance safe menstrual practices, and eliminate menstrual taboos. We must be able to build a society in which adolescent girls are not ashamed to talk about their periods, but rather bleed with joy and pride.

Prepared by: Swikriti Parajuli

I’m a student and I believe in learning and sharing. Besides community development, I’m passionate about arts, music, and sports. 

ICA Nepal is an experienced team dedicated to working in the field of human capacity building, and community development through advanced methods. It pursues to recognize people’s initiation, creativity, and enthusiasm in bringing sustainable development by considering existing cultural dynamics and pluralities. It is committed to creating an environment, in which the opportunity to participate and the construction of sustainable change and development is foremost.



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