Menstruation is a monthly reality and a biological fact for 2 billion women and girls worldwide. Yet, in too many countries, women and girls face serious challenges which may result in them being denied basic human rights during their periods. Menstruation related taboos affect women and girls in Nepal in terms of health, education, work, mobility and security.
RWSSP-WN has a strong rights-based approach to water, sanitation, and hygiene. This means that all people, including menstruating women and girls, must have access to water and sanitation, at all times. No one should be forced to practice open defecation, be forbidden to use water taps or to sleep outside of their home, or generally be left to practice poor menstrual hygiene management. Everyone has the right to live in a clean environment free from open defecation. No female teacher or female student should miss school days simply because they are menstruating. School and institutional sanitation must provide privacy and safe and hygienic conditions so that women and girls can manage their menstrual hygiene.
RWSSP-WN does not only work for improved menstruation hygiene management - the Project works for everyone's right to access to water and sanitation. The following framework presents the key strategies that RWSSP-WN II is using to include menstruation in its existing result areas, strategic objective and ultimately its overarching goal. Finally, it is the Project’s Municipalities that will decide on the details of their own programmes and work plans.
Break taboos by getting the facts right & making it easy to talk about menstruation
Integrate menstruation related issues into the existing project framework, mainstreaming it through small doable actions immediately in existing workplans & budgets, with a strong focus on showing actual results & impacts rather than just vaguely ‘raising awareness’.
Support municipality-level programmes that provide menstruation-related education & awareness to various stakeholders
Understand the issues better by continued applied research that provides evidence for work planning
Contribute research outcomes to (multi)-sectorial policy dialogues to develop national/regional/municipality-level strategies, policies, materials & programmes.
Support production & sales of reusable sanitary pads at local level.
RWSSP-WN II approach to menstruation and WASH
RWSSP-WN is doing Menstruation & WASH related research as the use of toilets during menstruation is not to be taken for granted. On occasion of the International Menstruation Day 2018, we are proud to lauch our series of study briefs that stemmed from the Menstruation, WASH and RWSSP-WN - Position Paper, RWSSP-WN Brief 2-2018. We are grateful for the On-the-Job Trainees from the Kathmandu Training Institute who collected all this data using mobile phones in between February and April, 2018:
RWSSP-WN Brief 5-2018 : Menstruation & 55 Female Community Health Volunteers
RWSSP-WM Brief 6-2018 : Menstruation & 664 Students
RWSSP-WN Brief 7-2018 : Menstruation & 48 Teachers
RWSSP-WN Brief 8-2018 : Menstruation & 755 Adult women