The Population Council conducted a qualitative study to understand the menstruation-related attitudes, practices, and perceptions that shape adolescent girls’ daily routines in rural upper Egypt communities, specifically Assiut and Sohag. The study relied on in-depth interviews with unmarried adolescent girls aged 13–16; focus group discussions with girls aged 13–16, mothers, fathers, and male siblings of adolescent girls; and key informant interviews with schoolteachers, doctors/nurses, pharmacists, and community leaders. “Period poverty” (lack of access to, or inability to afford period supplies) can be detected among adolescent girls in rural Assiut and Sohag. Lack of information and emotional and practical support before menarche, as well as limited access to accurate information and material resources during menstruation, translates into material and psychosocial deprivation for girls and compromises their health and well-being. Moreover, misconceptions about menstrual blood restricts their mobility and places them in a more vulnerable position. Such restrictions may adversely affect girls’ school attendance, limit their economic opportunities, and further exacerbate gender inequalities. A number of recommendations are made on policy, programmatic, and research fronts.
Hussein, Salma Abou and Nahla G. Abdel-Tawab. 2023. "Menstruation and adolescent girls' daily lives in rural Upper Egypt," research brief. Cairo: Population Council.
Adolescent Girls’ Program in Upper Egypt