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Table 3 Progress and gaps related to Priority 3

From: Menstrual hygiene management in schools: midway progress update on the “MHM in Ten” 2014–2024 global agenda

Priority 3: Advance MHM in schools activities through a comprehensive evidence-based advocacy platform that generates policies, funding, and action across sectors and at all levels of government
Inter-national level advocacy MHM in Schools Virtual conference (Columbia University, UNICEF) (Burgers, Yamakoshi, and Serrano 2019)
  Menstrual Hygiene Day 28th May led by WASH United generates media attention and global momentum, with local, national and regional events organized around the world, including attention to girls in school
  The Global Menstrual Collective (est. 2019) aims to drive and guide improved investment in menstrual health through evidence-based advocacy, including for schools
  African Coalition on MHM has galvanized national advocacy efforts, e.g., Break the Silence in Uganda); other regional initiatives incorporating MHM in schools are South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN), and the UNICEF- and GIZ-led WinS-International Learning Exchanges (ILE) (SACOSAN n.d.)
National level advocacy Numerous advocacy campaigns are led by national alliances, international organizations, and UN agencies. Examples include:
   In Nepal, the Practitioners Alliance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management formed in 2016 to bring together different ministries, sectors, researchers, and academics to find solutions to MHM challenges, including in schools
   In India, the MHM advocacy landscape is multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional, with initiatives launched by the private sector such as the Touch the Pickle campaign by Procter and Gamble, WaterAid (the #noshame in menstruation campaign), UNICEF (the #LetsTalkAboutPeriods campaign) and Menstrual Health Alliance India (MHAI), a national inter-agency advocacy group. In Namibia, Power Pad Girls was launched on MH Day 2018 by UNFPA as a 5-day advocacy campaign with MHM messaging. Schoolgirls are a key focus on these advocacy efforts
  In recent years, the MHM advocacy movement has expanded to high-income countries, although sufficient empirical evidence may not yet exist:
   The U.K., recognizing MHM as an issue of human rights, committed to providing free sanitary products in all primary and secondary schools in early 2020, and developed a period poverty taskforce to focus on tackling stigma, access to products, and data and evidence
   In the U.S., in addition to expanding state efforts to eliminate the tampon tax, some state and city legislators have introduced policies mandating menstrual hygiene products to be provided free of charge in all public schools. In British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario (Canada), the governments passed similar mandates on the provision of products in schools
   Numerous other high-income countries have tackled the tax on sanitary products, although low-income countries led the way on such efforts (e.g. Kenya removed tax in 2004); both have implications for the affordability of products for schoolgirls and female teachers
Recommendations to advance the agenda
Effectively translate and disseminate evidence-based research on MHM in schools to varied audiences
Continue expansion of advocacy efforts to local, rural, and underserved communities
Engage with growing platforms, alliances, and networks to achieve wider dissemination of messaging around MHM in schools, and clarify how differing collaborations interact, and how gaps between alliances can be filled while minimizing duplications
Acquire costing information (e.g. cost effectiveness evaluations) of school-based MHM interventions on which to base advocacy
Integrate MHM into other school-related advocacy campaigns, such as female genital mutilation, reducing child marriage, iron supplementation and HPV vaccination (e.g. distribute girl’s puberty books with HPV vaccines)
  1. This table comprehensively outlines specific Priority 3 progress and gaps to date