Share-Net Bangladesh brings together the Communities of Practice (CoP) that consist of social and medical researchers, development practitioners, health workers, government officials and legal experts to engage with one another to find solutions and take critical issues forward. The purpose of the CoP is to have a systematised, focussed and demand driven approach and a clearer focus on maximising impact by using knowledge effectively for improved SRHR practices and policies. The CoP of Share-Net Bangladesh is aligned with the concept of the CoP of Share-Net International.
This Communities of Practice (CoP) is on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) as an integral component of SRHR. Share-Net Bangladesh, would like to invite the CoP members practitioners who are already working in MHM and/or aiming to expand their implementation focusing on MHM for people with disabilities.
The objective of this study is to collate, summarise and critically appraise and analyse MHM related interventions which improve the MHM for adolescent girls. , find limitations- challenges of the ongoing implementations and to find scope related to menstrual health in Bangladesh. Moreover, the study will generate a picture on availability of resources, an indicative map where the interventions are taking place and which areas still require the coverage of intervention to improve the MHM of adolescent girls. The research will find the scope of inclusion of disabled girls/persons in each/the intervention. Furthermore, the study is ambitious to provide a set recommendations for the government and development practitioners towards adapting the policy and improving the strategies and plans of MHM and MHM by adolescent girls and adolescent girls with disabilities.
Context of MHM in Bangladesh: In a country with 29.5 million adolescents (10-19 years old), approximately 14.4 million of adolescent girls (10-19 years old) are the target of MHM intervention. Like other low-income and middle-income countries, almost all the adolescent girls are in the lack of appropriate facilities and support of MHM either in school, or at home or other places they usually visit.
Menstruation is not an openly discussed issue in Bangladesh, social norms and cultural beliefs around menstruation make it a hide and seek issue. Research and evidence shows that MHM at school is constrained by poor access to water and sanitation, lack of privacy and limited education related to such management. Hence, menstruation poses a set of physical, sociocultural and economic challenges to adolescent girls so a wide range of intervention is required in this area.
Furthermore, 9% to 16% of people in Bangladesh live with disabilities and/or any form of functional limitations. As the segregated statisr=tics of the adolescent girls with disabilities is not available, if we consider the proportion of national statics for our rough estimation, the approximate number of adolescent girls with disability will be between 1.3 and 2.3 million disabled girls who are in need of MHM related services and coverage. Unquestionably, where the MHM for the 14.4 million adolescent girls are in silence with perceived taboo and stigma, it is quite understandable that the MHM for girls with disability is hardly addressed.
Evidence showed that in Bangladesh 9% to 16% of people live with disabilities and/or any form of functional limitations and approximately 1.3 and 2.3 million girls are living with disabilities. Only 15% of our girls and women use sanitary napkins. It was important to discuss the existing policies and practices around MHM among adolescent girls and girls who are living with disabilities, inclusion of male members of the society and proper usage of sanitary napkins, especially in the less developed parts of the country. The inclusion criteria for possible stakeholders were- organisations working with MHM and/or MHM with disabilities, organisations who are planning to expand their focus on MHM or received any fund to work on MHM and members of the MHM platform.
In 2019, Share-Net Bangladesh organized a meeting with members of the MHM Platform Share-Net Bangladesh worked with the interested members of the MHM Platform and they were part of the CoP on MHM.
The Daily Dhaka Tribune published the news on August 27th, 2019 on titled ‘Awareness building still key to improving menstrual hygiene management’
Who we are/ List of CoP members-