THE EXPERIENCE OF MENSTRUATION AT SCHOOL: A STUDY WITH HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS IN THE NORTHERN CÔTE D’IVOIRE
Menstruation is increasingly cited as one of the leading causes of girls' absenteeism in African junior and senior high schools. In Côte d'Ivoire there is currently no public policy mentioning menstruation and there are still significant gaps in the knowledge and understanding of the experience of menstruation in school.
This study pursues two complementary objectives: To understand the extent of the personal, interpersonal, biological, environmental and societal challenges that girls face during menstruation in junior and senior high schools of Korhogo and also to identify the specific educational impacts of menstruation. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through life tales, individual interviews and focus-groups with 672 willing menstruated girls in the 18 junior and senior high schools in the city of Korogho to which were added direct observations during the month of April 2018.
The results show a lack of psycho-social and medical support within the institutions during menstruation. They also highlight a failure of sanitary infrastructure, difficult access to water in school toilets and the existence of negative perceptions of menstruation. Finally, every girls have missed at least one day of school in the last three months because of their periods.