2021 Equality, Health and Social Protection Mapping

Mapping of Swedish Aid Addressing Menstruation

Elin Bergenlöv

In the last ten years the issue of menstruation has received increasing attention in Swedish development cooperation. However, an overall picture of the extent to which menstruation is addressed in Swedish aid is absent. This study therefore maps menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) interventions in Swedish development cooperation. Data is drown from public policy documents, annual reports, data made available by OECD/DAC, Openaid and Sida’s CSO database, as well as informative dialogues with relevant stakeholders.

Main findings

  1. Approximately 36,5 million USD has been invested in contributions related to menstruation since 2013. However, many contributions are not reported, resulting in an impression of there being fewer contributions than actually implemented.
  2. In development cooperation, menstruation should not just be treated as a biological phenomenon, but also as a social function. Menstruation may relate to policy development, self-determination, equality and autonomy for women, as well as sustainable development. This should entail overlap with sectors such as health, gender equality, economy, security, and education.
  3. The types of contributions that exist for menstrual health vary. Countries and stakeholders choose to approach menstruation, knowledge, and the existing stigma in different ways. However, a common approach among contributions mapped seem to be the inclusion of men and boys in the movement.