Most of the girls skip school when they have their periods, to address this issue a global health NGO has suggested to conduct more research on menstruation-related issues among school-going girls.
"The relationship between menstruation and girls' attendance in schools is a critically important research issue. We have seen that poor sanitation systems and lack of information on proper disposal, along with inadequate hand- washing and waste disposal bins are barriers to limit a girl's ability to manage menstruation in school in India," senior program officer of PATH (Devices and Tools) Nancy Muller.
"At a global level, studies linking use of effective menstrual care products and girls' school attendance have generated varied results. Scale and quality of research have been significant constraints," she said, stressing that voices of girls should be included while designing these systems.
"In designing these systems, it is important to include the voices of the girls and their particular needs. The challenges is what drives addressing and assuring good menstrual hygiene management for school," she added.
"In some parts of India girls are forbidden to touch food or sleep in the house when they're menstruating. Lack of sanitation facilities can put girls at risk when needing to manage menstruation in the open. As a result, girls miss out on a host of opportunities, limiting their participation in their own development and that of their communities too," said Muller.
Hailing Uttar Pradesh government's recent decision to distribute free sanitary napkins to all girls in state-run schools, she said that the "move" could be an exciting model for other states of India as well as other countries.
The move is certainly highly commendable. It gives a truly important message about the importance of educating girls, and can be seen as an exciting model for other states in India and elsewhere.
"However, for the same procuring large quantities of menstrual hygiene products for low-income girls and women and identifying selection criteria is also important, both to ensure the proper usage of the product and to maximize government investments," she said.