Enhancing menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in refugee camps in Greece : an intersectional perspective on “leaving no one behind” in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes
Abstract: Integrating Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes is crucial for the safety, health and dignity of people who menstruate, as well as for advancing the sustainable development agenda. Yet there continues to be a lack of approaches and strategies to address different menstrual needs and intersectional inequalities in the access of WASH facilities and services in humanitarian settings. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the WASH sector’s efforts to improve MHM in refugee camps in Greece to address the diverse menstrual needs of women, girls and others. A qualitative approach was implemented where data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with 12 humanitarian actors supporting WASH programmes and MHM. The core results revealed that the unique environment of camp settings and the cultural diversity of the camp population in Greece is challenging when providing adequate, safe and private WASH facilities that comply with the diverse menstrual needs of the camp population. Challenges remain in short-term planning of emergency response, gaps around MHM-supportive WASH infrastructure, and activities around monitoring and evaluation (M&E). This research demonstrates that only efforts towards an intersectional approach in emergency response will ensure that WASH programmes more comprehensively meet the diverse menstrual needs of women, girls and others while “leaving no one behind”.
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