UN SDG #4 Quality Education UN SDG #4
UN SDG #5 Gender Equality UN SDG #5

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Eliminating the Taboo around Menstruation so Women Can Thrive

Painful cramps keep women around the world from reaching their full potential in classrooms and at work. Lack of access to appropriate menstrual hygiene products and social stigma surrounding periods creates additional barriers for women and girls.

challenge

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Eliminating the Taboo around Menstruation so Women Can Thrive

Painful cramps keep women around the world from reaching their full potential in classrooms and at work. Lack of access to appropriate menstrual hygiene products and social stigma surrounding periods creates additional barriers for women and girls.
35M
people impacted
$604.1B
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

Tens of thousands of young girls around the world are missing school due to excruciating period pain and are not seeking help. Nearly 41% of girls reported decreased performance or lowered concentration in classroom while menstruating. Lowered classroom efficiency during the period is something women often feel they must put up with, meaning that both adolescent girls and young women may be significantly disadvantaged in their studies by the impact of period pain.

Symptoms and Causes

Researchers analyzed the effects of dysmenorrhea — the clinical term for period pain — on academic performances in 21,573 young and adolescent girls. The results revealed that 20.1% of women reported absences from school or university due to period pain and 40.9% reported decreased performance or lowered concentration in classrooms.

Researchers also found that the widespread belief that painful periods are normal and commonly experienced by all teenage girls keeps young girls from seeking medical attention for their pain and can often worsen the situation.

the impact
Negative Effects

Around the world, girls are less likely to graduate from secondary school than boys. In fact, according to UNESCO worldwide, 131 million girls are out of school — and 100 million of those are girls of high school age. Although many underlying reasons contribute to the issue, menstruation stigma and lack of menstrual hygiene education play major roles. 

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