The Capability of Cups : A comparative field study in Uganda investigating the impact of menstrual cups on women and girls’ achieved capabilities
Sammanfattning: Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has for long been a neglected topic within development research, policy and practice, despite findings recognising how insufficient MHM poses obstacles to women and girls’ well-being and quality of life. Those living in low-resource settings are especially vulnerable to such challenges. This thesis aims to provide empirical evidence for the relationship between improved MHM and human development. Amartya Sen’s capability approach serves as the starting point, suggesting that development is the process of expanding capabilities to lead a life one has reason to value. It is argued that the use of menstrual cups enables the achievement of capabilities, by removing obstacles to these. This hypothesis is tested using material collected during a field study in Uganda. Two groups of women and girls have been interviewed and compared – one in which everyone is using menstrual cups, and one in which everyone is using pads or cloths. The results show that capabilities to a larger extent are achieved among the women and girls using menstrual cups, than among those using pads or cloths. Moreover, obstacles to capabilities were predominantly present in the second group. The findings thereby support the theoretical argument, demonstrating that the use of menstrual cups removes obstacles – positively impacting capabilities. This highlights the importance of considering MHM as a key aspect of sustainable development.
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