Photo credit: Joni Kabana

Misinformation and negative beliefs about menstruation are widespread. We’re working to understand this challenge.

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Hear what women have to say about periods in Ethiopia.

Studies from around the world document that most adolescent girls—no matter where they live—get their first menstrual period without adequate information or preparation.

In Ethiopia, menstruation is an awkward subject, embarrassing to talk about and more embarrassing to experience.  If a girl is unprepared for menstruation, her first period can also be frightening.  There is plenty of evidence to suggest that misinformation and negative beliefs about menstruation are widespread in rural areas, but few people have investigated this subject in detail.  Dignity Period intends to change that.

Dignity Period is conducting an intensive anthropological study of menstrual beliefs, attitudes and practices in areas of rural Ethiopia in collaboration with anthropologists from Mekelle University.  When this is completed, in the spring or summer of 2016, we will have a detailed understanding of what Ethiopians – male and female, boys and girls – think about menstruation and how we can improve menstrual hygiene practices in this part of the world.

The need for menstrual hygiene interventions in Ethiopia is well documented: