International Development Planning Review

Unveiling hidden knowledge: discovering the hygiene needs of perimenopausal women

International Development Planning Review (2019), 41, (2), 149–171.

Abstract

The provision of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to ensure good health and wellbeing for all is incorporated into the Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim to ‘leave no-one behind’. The WASH needs of perimenopausal (PM) women are largely absent from academic literature. These personal needs are hidden knowledge. However, this article demonstrates the use of participative methodologies to ‘unveil’ these. A UK-based phenomenological review set the research agenda using PM women’s narratives; this was later developed in urban Ghana using oral history interviews, participatory mapping and PhotoVoice. Allowing for some adaption of these tools to account for local taboos in the global South, issues were revealed that are invisible to many but still warrant attention. Moving beyond theoretical discourse, practical approaches identified infrastructural issues and ensured the inclusion of PM experience. Unveiling hidden knowledge in this way has wider implications for other issues in development agendas.

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References

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Gosling, L. (2010) Equity and inclusion: a rights-based approach, London, WaterAid. Google Scholar

Greer, G. (1991) The change: women, aging and the menopause, London, Hamish Hamilton. Google Scholar

Grosz, E. (1987) ‘Feminist theory and the challenge to knowledges’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 10(5), 475–80. Google Scholar

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Harding, S. (1986) The science question in feminism, Ithaca, Cornell University Press. Google Scholar

Harding, S. (1987) Feminism and methodology: social science issues, Bloomington, Indiana University Press. Google Scholar

Harlow, S. D., Cain, K., Crawford, S., Dennerstein, L., Little, R., Mitchell, E. S., Nan, B., Randolph Jr, J. F., Taffe, J. and Yosef, M (2006) ‘Evaluation of four proposed bleeding criteria for the onset of late menopausal transition’, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 91(9), 3432–38. Google Scholar

Harvey, D. (1975) ‘The geography of capital accumulation: a reconstruction of Marxian theory’, Antipode, 7(2), 9–21. Google Scholar

Herek, G. (2009) ‘Hate crimes and stigma-related experiences among sexual minority adults in the United States: prevalence estimates from a national probability sample’, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(1), 54–74. Google Scholar

hooks, b. (1984) Feminist theory: from margin to center, Boston, South End. Google Scholar

House, S., Mahon, T. and Cavill, S. (2012) Menstrual hygiene matters: a resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world, London, WaterAid. Google Scholar

Hubbard, P., Kitchin, R., Bartley, B. and Fuller, D. (2002) Thinking geographically: space, theory and contemporary human geography, London, Continuum. Google Scholar

IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) (2009) Good practices in participatory mapping, Rome, IFAD. Google Scholar

Imrie, R. and Edwards, C. (2007) ‘The geographies of disability: reflections on the development of a sub-discipline’, Geography Compass, 1(3), 623–40. Google Scholar

Jewitt, S., and Ryley, H. (2014) ‘It’s a girl thing: menstruation, school attendance, spatial mobility and wider gender inequalities in Kenya’, Geoforum, 56, 137–47. Google Scholar

Katz, C. (1996) ‘The expeditions of conjurers: ethnography, power and pretense’, in D. Wolf (ed.) Feminist dilemmas in fieldwork, Boulder, Westview Press, 170–84. Google Scholar

Kupoluyi, J. A., Ekudayo, O. O. and Akinyemi, A. I. (2015) ‘Nigerian menopause rating scale (MRS): experience in postmenopausal women’, Maturitas, 81(1), 177. Google Scholar

Kwawukume E. Y., Ghosh T. S. and Wilson J. B. (1993) ‘Menopausal age of Ghanaian women’, International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 40(2), 151–55. Google Scholar

Leathes, B. (2012) Topic brief: delegated management of water and sanitation services in urban areas: experiences from Kumasi, Ghana, WSUP, http://www.wsup.com/resource/delegated-management-of-water-and-sanitation-services-in-urban-areas-experiences-from-kumasi-ghana/ (accessed 15 November 2016). Google Scholar

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Luft, J. (1961) ‘The Johari window: a graphic model of awareness in interpersonal relations’, Human Relations Training News, 5(9), 6–7. Google Scholar

McCall, L. (2005) ‘The complexity of intersectionality’, Signs, 30(3), 1771–800. Google Scholar

Moore, B. (1981) ‘Climacteric symptoms in an African community’, Maturitas, 3(1), 25–29. Google Scholar

Nachtigall, L. E. (1998) ‘The symptoms of perimenopause’, Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 41(4), 921–27. Google Scholar

O’Neill, M. (1996) ‘Researching prostitution and violence: feminist praxis’, in M. Hester, L. Kelly and J. Radford (eds) Women, violence and male power, Buckingham, Open University Press, 130–47. Google Scholar

Oakley, A. (1981) ‘Interviewing women: a contradiction in terms’, in H. Roberts (ed.) Doing feminist research, London, Routledge, 30–61. Google Scholar

Odiari. E. A. and Chambers, A. N. (2012) ‘Perceptions, attitudes, and self-management of natural menopausal symptoms in Ghanaian women’, Health Care for Women International, 33(6), 560–74. Google Scholar

Okonofua, F. E., Lawal, A. and Bamgbose, J. K. (1990) ‘Features of menopause and menopausal age in Nigerian women’, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 31(4), 341–45. Google Scholar

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