Period Poverty

Impact of Taboos and Barriers on Information and Resources for Menstrual Health and Hygiene

Girl play outside Maimoona Bint-Al-Harith Secondary School for Girl in Khartoum. Sudan.
UNICEF/UN0211090/Shehzad Noorani


In commemoration of Menstrual Health and Hygiene Day on May 28th, 2023, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office launched a regional U-Report to amplify the voices of both young females and males across the MENA region. The U-Report findings1 sheds light on crucial aspects of a dignified menstrual health and hygiene such as awareness, challenges, usage of menstrual supplies, strategies to manage the menstrual cycle, and the significance of being able to speaking openly about menstruation.


According to the answers received take it up the respondents participating in this U-Report poll:

  • 20% girls lack necessary information on periods.
  • 30% girls are missing some or all of school during their period.
  • 10% girls reported feeling embarrassed during their period.
  • 20% girls experienced restrictions in playing sport during their period.
  • 20% girls expressed the need of support to manage menstrual pain as well as an app to track cycles.
  • 20% girls do not speak to anyone about menstruation. 30% boys do not speak to anyone about menstruation. 
  • 10% boys do not know where to find information about menstruation.
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