Menstrual Hygiene Conditions in Pakistan

November 03, 2017

Menstrual Hygiene Conditions in Pakistan

Even though half of the population menstruates, there are no existing policies supporting the creation and implementation of proper menstrual hygiene management conditions in Pakistan. According to research conducted on menstrual knowledge and practices of female adolescents in urban Karachi, less than 20% of girls surveyed understood that menstruation was a natural bodily function. In our society, menstruation is surrounded by stigma and misinformation. Inadequate MHM directly affects a female’s self-esteem, health, and education. As a result, the needs of women, especially in regards to sanitation, have never been brought to the forefront, and sadly, not all women have access to the tools they need to manage their menstrual cycles.

Problems Associated with Menstruation

Following are the problems that are often associated with menstruation in Pakistan, as it is still considered as a taboo in the eyes of the majority of the population and is treated as something inappropriate and humiliated:

  • Shame during menses
  • Teachers unwillingness to discuss menstrual hygiene.
  • Staying out of school for 3 -4 days, lack of facilities leading to poor school performance.
  • Lack of designated washrooms with water & disposal facilities in schools.
  • Changing, cleaning & drying of re-useable menstrual clothes.
  • Unable to afford conventional sanitary pads.
  • Lack of privacy but cultural expectations remain valid.The invisibility of menstruation or unavailability of sanitary clothes (old material).
  • Unavailability (physical, mental) of close family members to inform or teach.

Solutions That Can Help

Following are the solutions and the steps that should be carried out by the responsible institutions in this regard and the influential officials and other people in the society so that it can help the females to well equip themselves and facilitate themselves with better hygiene conditions:

  • Clarify basic requirements for menstrual hygiene management for adolescent girls in schools/colleges.
  • Incorporate effective and efficient strategies for tackling MHM(Menstrual Hygiene Management).
  • Revise school curriculum, including teachers curriculum to include MHM, hygiene clubs for female adolescent only.
  • Design/provide female friendly sanitation facilities including room for washing menstrual cloth.
  • Promote low cost sanitary pads.
  • Investigate the potential of female health workers to get engaged.