Menstrual Health and Hygiene
Innovation is vital to the state of the world’s children. Challenges have never been larger, or coming faster – urbanization, climate change, lack of employment opportunities, broken education systems, increased disparities, digital divides, and a global pandemic.
Drawing upon leading principles for innovation and development, the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator will cultivate ecosystems that foster and support promising innovations that address the most pressing challenges faced by children around the world.
In the Accelerator’s first cohort, we focused on supporting innovative solutions to a specific Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issue that has an enormous impact on the lives of adolescent girls: menstrual health and hygiene (MHH).
How We See
Work on female hygiene also aligns with UNICEF’s strategic plan goal of ensuring that every child lives in a safe and clean environment.
- Offices in 69 countries working on MHH
- 34 UNICEF offices prioritizing MHH
- MHH support in over 18,000 schools in 50 countries
Through a partnership with Duke University and its Accelerator social entrepreneurs, UNICEF looks forward to expanding its reach even further.
*Not all people who menstruate are women or girls and not all women and girls menstruate, however throughout this website, the term ‘women and girls’ is used as a shorthand to increase its readability and refers to all menstruators regardless of gender identity.
The Future is Feminist
Menstrual health and hygiene is only one of many goals that will help reach lasting equality. Through the Innovation Accelerator, the Duke-UNICEF partnership will also explore exciting solutions to other problems that affect girls worldwide and contribute to the gender gap.
What might we work on next? UNICEF has prioritized the following for our next cohort:
- Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all
- Ending open defecation
- Paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations