Online ISSN : 2758-0334
Rethinking Menstrual Hygiene Management Education and Practices in Uganda: A De-womanising Approach
Ian Karusigarira
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 00009


De-womanising Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) education as an inclusive ontology has been unprecedently given little attention despite its role in spurring a conducive environment for females during their “bloody days of the month” and general Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) improvements. Access to menstrual materials, clean water, washrooms, and disposal of menstrual waste requires an inclusive gender approach, especially in societies where access to resources and services is still male-dominated. This article seeks to pinpoint the exclusion of males from MHM-related issues. The work not only analysed the accepted males’ perception of menstruation as associated with dirtiness, impurity, and disgust but also the female’s perceptions of males as sexual predators presented as risk factors for a girl-child’s well-being and progression. The study established that the understanding of the gender space constructed by cultural norms, practices, and social dynamics helps in the educational policy considerations of sexuality and MHM complexities in a changing society. Interest in educational reforms to adopt new sources of knowledge on menstrual hygiene and pedagogical realignment were core observations of the research process. The article helps WASH practitioners to rethink the gender and cultural entanglements in MHM education and practices to unlock potentials for addressing menstrual poverty, stigma and cultural barriers, sustainable disposal of menstrual materials, and other WASH mechanisms at home, at school and in the communities. Interview surveys were conducted in low-income urban societies and primary school environment on the one hand; and low-income rural communities, primary and secondary school environments. One-on-one interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted. Observation as a key ethnographic methodological tool was employed.

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