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A cup of freedom?: A study of the menstrual cup's impact on girls' capabilities
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Managing menstrual hygiene is a problem for many women around the world, especially in developing countries. The lack of access to sanitary products, clean water, knowledge and other necessary resources leads to taboos and health implications, as well as have negative impacts on girls’ education. This thesis investigates if this problem may be improved by the distribution of menstrual cups, by seeking to answer the two following questions; can the usage of the menstrual cup strengthen girls’ participation in education? And; can the usage of the menstrual cup have a positive impact on girls’ possibilities of engaging in social interactions during menstruations? In order to answer these questions, 15 recipients of menstrual cups in Tanzania have been interviewed.

The thesis’ point of departure is within the capability approach, to understand if the girls’ capabilities within the spheres of health, education and social interactions have been strengthened or not. With this approach, the thesis can fully explore the girls’ well-being and opportunities, as the theory defines this as the opportunities they have, not only the ones they choose to pursue.

The findings show that all interviewed recipients chose to continue to use their menstrual cups as they felt that it improved either their economy, health or gave them increased confidence in school as it lowered the risks of visible leakage. Nearly all girls felt less restricted in school and more able to participate in class, talk and play with classmates regardless of menstruating or not. Furthermore, the thesis concludes that the living conditions of the recipients may have affected the positive result, and that it cannot be ruled out that a similar result would have shown with any other sanitary product used correctly. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
menstrual hygiene, menstrual cups, capability approach, girls' education
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39445OAI: diva2:783661
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2015-01-27 Created: 2015-01-26 Last updated: 2015-01-27Bibliographically approved

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