Menstruation and Impact of Education

Globally, having menstruation considered some forms of an impure, dirty, contaminated, bad and matter of silence, stigma, taboo. Thus, the girls miss the classes at school for few days during menstruation because they have to travel in school as well as they cannot focus on class [1]. Because the girls were teased or harassed by the boys, boys somehow know about that she is menstruating (Lawrick, n.d.). Increase in a year of secondary education helped not only increase the annual per capita income but also improve the maternal and children health by marrying later and eventually improve the decision making process [2]. Many researches revealed that the menstrual practices heavily impacted on acquiring quality education. Mugambi & Georgas, (n.d.) found that the adolescent girls discourage to go school, dropped from school and lose 3.5. Million learning days per month due to poor management in school for menstruation in Kenya. In rural Malawi, one third school girls remined absent at least one day during menstruation it is associated with school infrastructure specially toilet [3].

In Afghanistan, Bangaladesh, Bhutan, Sri-Lanka, girls are missing classes at least one to two days during menstruation [4].

In Nepal, parents denied to continue their study during menstruation by assuming that the school is holy places and menstruation is sin, found in focus group discussion (FGD) and eventually they do not only failing in class but also dropped out from school due to stigma and lack of menstrual friendly school environment [4]. Pandey further added that the girls couldn’t pay adequate attention in preparation of exams due to their menstruation. In the same vein, among 5609 participants, 12.1 percentages reported school absenteeism due to menstrual stigma and 33.6% reduced their regular work including education. Among the In-School and OutSchool Adolescents girls, the menstrual restriction is recognized as an important barrier for development of self-efficacy and collective efficacy [5].

Nepali communities, regardless of class, caste, religion, region, the restrictions during menstruation is common. It has immediate and long-term negative impacts on the life of girls and women including education. During menstruation, girls deprived from going to schools though the number of days vary from place to place. Despite having lots of women’s movement raised up in Nepal, such as equal citizenship rights, stop rape etc. but the most feminists, activists and organizations remained silent around the menstruation which resonates the women’s oppression as well as menstruation as matter of taboo. In this connection, this study took place to provide an evidence to all relevant actors specially for educators on how does menstrual restriction impacted on education by addressing following questions;

i) what are restrictions practised during menstruation, and

ii) to what extent, the education affects by restrictions during menstruation?

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