A blind spot in girls’ education: menarche and its webs of exclusion in Ghana

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Colleges, School and Institutes

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  • University of Oxford


Despite notable progress in girls’ education over the last decade, gender-based differences continue to shape educational outcomes. One of the most overlooked of these differences is the process of maturation itself, including menstruation. This paper presents the findings of a study that assessed the impact of sanitary care on the school attendance of post-pubertal girls, as well as the implications of menarche for their well-being. The study found that the provision of adequate sanitary care represents a relatively unrecognized but potentially fruitful tool in strategies that aim to improve girls’ educational outcomes, one that warrants policy consideration among development planners.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-657
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of International Development
Early online date29 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • education, development, gender, puberty, menarche