What is it about?

Nepal is geographically small yet extremely diverse, with 125 different caste/ethnic groups. We sought to understand key differences in menstrual knowledge, attitudes and practices to better understand the importance of caste/ethnicity. Our results showed that caste/ethnicity was a significant predictor of menstrual knowledge and practices, and indigenous castes (Janajati) had the poorest menstrual practice outcomes.

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Why is it important?

Caste/ethnic differences in menstrual practices are significant, and highlight that some groups are falling behind when it comes to menstrual health outcomes. Consequently, blanket menstrual heath interventions may not be sufficient. Future menstrual health programming should consider the use of local languages and context-specific content that incorporates indigenous beliefs. Partnerships with indigenous health organizations will be critical for ensuring improved mensural health for all.


While menstrual health has been gaining much deserved attention, it is my goal to push researchers, policy makers and program developers to think closely about the nuanced needs of Nepali women and girls. One size does not fit all, and therefore, as we move toward more equitable solutions, we need to think creatively and innovatively about reaching all caste/ethnic groups and meeting their unique needs when it comes to menstrual and reproductive health.

Sara Baumann
University of Pittsburgh

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Assessing the Role of Caste/Ethnicity in Predicting Menstrual Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in Nepal, Global Public Health, February 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1583267.
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