Comfortably, Safely, and Without Shame: Defining Menstrual Hygiene Management as a Public Health Issue

Am J Public Health. 2015 Jul;105(7):1302-11. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302525. Epub 2015 May 14.


In recent years, the menstrual hygiene management challenges facing schoolgirls in low-income-country contexts have gained global attention. We applied Gusfield's sociological analysis of the culture of public problems to better understand how this relatively newly recognized public health challenge rose to the level of global public health awareness and action. We similarly applied the conceptualization by Dorfman et al. of the role of public health messaging in changing corporate practice to explore the conceptual frames and the news frames that are being used to shape the perceptions of menstrual hygiene management as an issue of social justice within the context of public health. Important lessons were revealed for getting other public health problems onto the global-, national-, and local-level agendas.

MeSH terms

  • Culture
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hygiene* / standards
  • Menstrual Hygiene Products / supply & distribution
  • Menstruation* / ethnology
  • Politics
  • Public Health* / standards
  • Safety
  • Social Justice
  • Social Responsibility