Menstrual Management Practices:Attitudes and Perceptions of Refugees in Palabek Refugee Settlement, Lamwo district, Northern Uganda

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Uganda Christian University
Menstruation and its management practices are still faced with several restrictions from cultural, religious, and social settings. This is not only in rural areas but also in towns among the educated. These dictate how menstruation and management should be handled. This study explores the cultural rationale for menstrual management practices, perceptions of women and men, and the attitude of men and women towards the cultural practices of refugee women in Palabek refugee settlement in Lamwo district. For this exploratory study, a qualitative research method was chosen. Zone 5A and B were chosen with 2 FGDs in each zone and 5 key informants’ interviews including local refugees, a representative from UNHCR, and OPM respectively. Overall, participants displayed knowledge of the topic by sharing their views, beliefs, experiences, and what they have heard about menstruation and its management. The common menstrual management practices are using clothes, sitting on sand or cow dung. Generally the perception of the participants was that culture bites women so hard and dictate how they should run their life. The attitude of the participants towards menstrual management practices indicated that the whole process being painful is not enough but the practices associated with menstruation are demeaning. The study recommends that partners should hold awareness meetings to help change the perception and attitude of the community on menstruation and educate on the hygienic methods of managing it. OPM and UNHCR should order all partners to have a budget to support women and girls with MHM materials. Safe space conversations should be given attention so that they identify silent issues such as this under research, training women and girls in making reusable menstrual management pads and a need for massive community and women’s awareness against the practices.
Masters dissertation.