Getting the Bloody Work Done: Menstruating in the Workplace : A field study investigating how urban Ghanaian market women perceive menstruation to affect their working life

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: During recent years the stigmatised phenomenon of menstruation has received increased attention, revealing various challenges faced by menstruating women and girls. The prevalence of these have shown to be particularly profound in low- and middle-income countries. Despite an enhanced understanding of how menstruators may be affected by having their periods the focus within the growing body of literature on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) remains narrow, often focusing solely on the practical aspects of MHM, whilst failing to acknowledge the social dimensions of menstruating. Women who work have been notably overlooked within the existing research, which almost exclusively has targeted schoolgirls. This study aims to widen the understanding of MHM, entailing both social and practical aspects. It also seeks to shed light on the experiences of working women, as a previously neglected group. To investigate how menstruation may affect women within their working environment, a field study with respondent interviews was conducted in Accra, Ghana. The narratives of the respondents, consisting of women working within the informal sector at markets, disclosed challenges that relate both to the social and practical aspects of MHM. The results point to the continued need for including working women in the research on MHM. It also demonstrates how practical and social aspects overlap and thus needs to be linked to gain a full understanding of menstruation and how it affects the menstruator.

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