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Period of shame - The effects of menstrual hygiene management on rural women and girls' quality of life in Savannakhet, Laos


  • Liyen Chin

Summary, in English

The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how rural women and girls’ menstrual hygiene management (MHM) affects their life-quality and performance in everyday life. The thesis analysed the opportunities, abilities and motivation they had in performing MHM and how it affected their social and economical opportunities. From this, conclusions were drawn on how MHM affects their life-quality. A concurrent mixed methods approach was implemented where qualitative data was gathered through group interviews and quantitative data through closed questionnaires. The results were analysed through a combination of the FOAM-framework and Sen’s capabilities approach.

The results showed that not all women had sufficient access to toilets, water, panties and sanitary pads. Together with an absence in social support and cultural norms that perceive menstruation as taboo, these factors had negative consequences on their life-quality. It restricted them in their access to a good health, education and income-generating activities. The effects are however subjective; not all women saw their practice as problematic. The results merely showed that not all women had access in exercising their capabilities, which could lead to a decreased level of life-quality. Individuals as well as societies could thus benefit in taking MHM into consideration in the development discourse.


  • LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences


  • MHM
  • menstruation
  • women
  • girls
  • capabilities approach
  • FOAM-framework
  • life-quality
  • Laos
  • Savannakhet


  • Kristina Jönsson