Menstruation in the Workplace

Employees learn about safe and hygienic menstrual products through the MHM in the Workplace activity at one of two participating workplaces in Kenya. Photo credit: Inua Dada Foundation

Activity Description

Activity Description

All over the world, people who menstruate experience challenges managing their periods, especially those who live and work in environments that do not support adequate menstrual health and hygiene (MHH). For working women, these challenges may have critical implications for their health and general well-being, as well as for economic outcomes such as work attendance, performance, advancement, and earnings. 

To better understand the relationship between  women’s opportunities for economic empowerment and growth and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), a subset of USAID’s holistic approach to MHH, USAID’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) conducted action research to assess the benefits and costs of improved MHM in the workplace, both for women workers and the enterprises that employ them. The action research sought to contribute to the body of knowledge on how to improve and measure MHM in the workplace, with a focus on gender-related sanitation outcomes and barriers that affect women’s ability to enter or remain in the workforce, including gendered social norms around menstruation and MHM.

The activity also conducted a cost-benefit analysis to measure the benefits to employers of investing in creating a more menstruation-friendly workplace, and conducted metrics field testing to develop a recommended short set of survey questions to help the global community better understand the impacts of menstruation in the workplace.

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