10 March 2023

Tia, the unstoppable young girl

“I love playing futsal so much,” says Tia, age 11, a 6th grade student at one of Primary School in Larantuka, Flores Timur District, East Nusa Tenggara. She flashes a wide grin – an expression she has rarely shown over the past year.   When Tia was in 5th grade, she was the first among her peers to get her period. Much to her surprise, she learned…, Managing Menstruation with OkyApp , She had a welcome breakthrough in January 2023, when Tia’s school became part of the UNICEF- Menstrual Hygiene Management intervention programme supported by Kimberly-Clark Softex. Tia was introduced to “Oky”, the first period tracker created by girls for girls.   "My first-year menstrual experience was tiresome and depressing. But with this new…, Working together to support girls’ health , Since December 2019, KC Softex has been supporting UNICEF’s work to improve girls’ health and hygiene practices, including menstrual health management, through the #DariSaudari campaign. The focus of the partnership for 2022 – 2024 is menstrual health and hygiene education, targeting 10,000 young girls. The programme is also expected to reach 80,…, Nothing can stop me now , By participating in the programme and using the Oky app, Tia now understands that many things she heard about menstruation are just myths. She has become more confident as she can easily track her period and plan ahead for her football, futsal or volleyball matches. Best of all, she is now fully aware that having a period does not have to get in…
25 April 2022

Indonesian students break taboos, misconception surrounding menstruation

Artika could barely contain her excitement as she waited in line to have her body temperature checked before entering her classroom. That morning in March 2021, students in Banten Province, Indonesia returned to school for in-person learning after having mostly online classes for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides meeting her friends and…, Youth as Agent of Change, One of the key strategies for the MHM program is the involvement of youth health cadres ( Kader Kesehatan Remaja, KKR), a group of student volunteers that help initiate, organize and lead the activities and campaigns. The strategy was based on a UNICEF survey that most girls are more comfortable talking about puberty with other girls, including…, Behaviour Change, Artika, Daniel and Cucuk said the programme has created behaviour change among students and good practices at school. According to Artika, the MHM programme has helped female students to overcome unnecessary embarrassment related to menstruation and have their needs addressed by the schools that provide sanitary pads and better toilets. "The boys…, How You Can Help, The above story is just one example of how UNICEF works with schools to raise awareness on reproductive health and reduce bullying among Junior High School students. There are still many teenagers who need the support of programs like this. The success of this program will be a major milestone so that it can continue in other regions in Indonesia…
25 January 2021

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and child marriage prevention book

Based on UNICEF data, one out of four children in Indonesia never received information about menstruation before they had their first menstruation. Many girls are not ready when they have their first period. As a result they are amazed, confused, sad, crying and afraid. Most of adolescent girls trust to their parents, especially their mother, as their main source of information around puberty, including menstruation. Unfortunately, rarely parents provide correct information about menstruation. Lack of information about menstruation among adolescent girls, especially key information that menstruation is a sign that girls can physically become pregnant, could possibly trigger high rate of child marriage. Based on data from Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey (IDHS) in 2017, one out of five girls do not know that menstruation is a sign that they are physically able to get pregnant. Furthermore, based on UNICEF's research in Bone in 2019, one in two girls (50%) do not have any knowledge of this. Muslimat NU in collaboration with UNICEF is addressing the above problems by publishing a book on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and Child Marriage Prevention. This book was written as an effort to socialize and promote the urgency of MHM education for adolescents, and at the same time as a preventive effort against child marriage practices that occur in society. UNICEF hopes that this book could be a reference guide for community leaders, ustazhah (women preacher), boarding school leaders/administrators, and teachers in providing correct information and solution in addressing child marriage phenomenon that occur in the society.   This book is only available in Indonesian. 
01 February 2019

Menstruation in The Time of Emergencies

The day a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok, 14-year-old Kadek Ariasti Widhiari was having her period. In what she describes as one of the hardest months of her life, she and her family were forced to leave everything behind and find refuge in a temporary shelter. “All the while, I was trying to cope with the menstrual…, Taboos and superstitions, According to Stefani Rahardini, the UNICEF facilitator presiding over the discussions, most of the girls have a relatively good knowledge about menstruation, but it is their impractical habits that have become barriers to attending school. “It’s hard enough for parents to send their kids back to school, with fear of aftershocks still hanging over…, Scaling up WASH facilities in earthquake-affected schools, In the wake of the earthquake, UNICEF—in partnership with the government and the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI)—launched a series of emergency response. An integral part of it was the provision of physical facilities such as temporary toilets and waste bins and the distribution of hygiene and dignity kits such as soap, towels and…, Helping girls overcome their inhibitions, Another important part of the UNICEF-led emergency response was public education on menstrual hygiene. By engaging schools, health clinics, the local health office and community volunteers, girls were encouraged to return to school and feel good about themselves and their bodies.  , Bullying and lack of openness, One of the biggest hurdles in the awareness-raising process, according to Stefani, is the lack of openness between female students and their female teachers. “It’s not something students will go to a female teacher about, let alone a male teacher,” she says. “Problem is, many female teachers aren’t even aware that many students are struggling with…, How You Can Help, Thanks to the generous contributions of individual donors, UNICEF has been able to work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) workers and officials across Indonesia to support families and girls’ needs during emergencies such as natural disasters. Yet better understanding and practice of menstrual hygiene management depends on raising the…