Human Rights

The global community is in agreement that the current status of menstrual health management in low and middle income countries (LMIC) lacks to meet the basic human rights and dignity of adolescent girls and women (including female teachers). 

Stigma around menstruation and menstrual hygiene is a violation of several human rights, most importantly of the right to human dignity, but also the right to non-discrimination, equality, bodily integrity, health, privacy and the right to freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment from abuse and violence (WSSCC 2013).

The gender–unfriendly school culture and infrastructure and the lack of adequate menstrual protection alternatives and/or clean, safe and private sanitation facilities for female teachers and girls undermine the right of privacy, resulting in a fundamental infringement of the human rights of female teachers and girls. Consequently, girls and women get left behind and there is no equal opportunity.

The accruing evidence reveals the gender discriminatory nature of many school environments, with female students and teachers unable to manage their menstruation with safety, dignity, and privacy, negatively impacting their abilities to succeed and thrive within the school environment.

This topic is  a matter of human rights for women to have access to sanitary products. When women and girls cannot manage their menstrual hygiene, it can negatively impact their rights, including the rights to education, work and health.  The ability of women & girls to practice good MH cuts to the heart of dignity & gender equality.

It could be argued that this issue reveals the discriminatory nature in school environments: Females are unable to manage their menstruation with safety, dignity and privacy, this impacts their ability to succeed in school, reducing their economic potential, impacting their health outcomes and their position in society.