The importance of dealing with the social pressures on girls and woman around menstrual hygiene

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director, Improve International girl school

As I sat in a seminar about Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools at Emory University earlier this week, I kept thinking about my trip to Vietnam to visit CARE’s projects.  As we drove all over the beautiful country, my fellow travelers and I marveled at the flocks of school girls walking or biking along the side of the road in their pristine white school uniforms (called ao dai, see photos here).  We thought it would be hard to keep the uniforms clean because of the dirt on the side of the road, but we didn’t think about problems they might have managing their periods.

Most women know the fear and embarrassment of visible blood stains on their clothes. For many girls in developing countries, the implications of not being able to deal with “the curse” are much worse. As a fellow female…

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