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Girls are fearful of using school toilets during menstruation, leading to absenteeism: Report

Written by  Shgun S -- December 11th 2023 08:43 PM
Girls are fearful of using school toilets during menstruation, leading to absenteeism: Report

Girls are fearful of using school toilets during menstruation, leading to absenteeism: Report

PTC News Desk: Due to a shortage of water, soap, sanitation, and missing doors, girls are "fearful" of using school bathrooms during menstruation, suggests a report on menstrual hygiene management in India.

According to research released on Monday by the NGO Sulabh International, the fear causes students to miss school during their menstrual cycle.


"It emerges from our findings that distance from home to school is not as big a deterrent for girls to miss school as a lack of menstrual hygiene management facilities," it stated, adding that staying at home during their menstrual cycle is a "forced choice" for school girls.

"If schoolgirls do not have access to regular menstrual hygiene products, such as pads, they prefer to stay at home." "It is a forced choice when young girls choose the security, privacy, and safety of their home to manage their periods over the appalling lack of sanitation and menstrual hygiene management facilities in schools," according to the research.

According to research data, females are "fearful of using school toilets during menstruation due to a lack of water, soap, sanitation, as well as missing doors, taps, and even missing dustbins."

"This provokes absence from schools during periods, which implies that for up to 60 days in a school year, a menstruating girl is either unable to attend classes or goes half-heartedly, feeling ill-at-ease," according to the research released by Sulabh International.

The study, according to the NGO, was done in 14 districts of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu, with a sample size of 4,839 women and girls in 22 blocks and 84 villages representing varied ethnicities in the country's rural parts.

Community toilets, as well as toilets in workplaces with washing spaces, bathing cubicles, and running water, were suggested in the report.

"Women and girls can achieve more robust participation in education and employment if all toilets are more menstrual hygiene management friendly and safe in terms of sanitary dignity and security to change and dispose of menstrual hygiene products."

"Schools should be provided with separate toilets for girls with running water through tap connection and proper storage tanks," the authors of the report said.

- With inputs from agencies

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