Kao Corporation has been partnering with the Japan Committee for UNICEF to conduct the Menstrual Hygiene Management Project, which supports United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) program in Indonesia since January 2018. As part of this, Kao and UNICEF have developed an educational pamphlet on menstrual hygiene management entitled "Secret of the Two Worlds" (Rahasia Dua Dunia). The pamphlet is now being distributed to 40 public junior high schools in Tangerang, Banten Province from the start of use in trainings for school principals and health guidance instructors.
Kao Group has provided products and services along with awareness-raising initiatives to instill habits for cleanliness and hygiene adapted to local cultures and social needs, including education about the onset of menstruation. Kao is partnering with the Japan Committee for UNICEF in the Menstrual Hygiene Management Project in support of UNICEF's program in Indonesia for the purpose of having children in Indonesia learn correct information about menstrual hygiene management, develop proper hygiene management practices, and lead healthy lives during the stage of puberty.
Various myths and stigmas regarding menstruation still exist in Indonesia even today. A government-led educational program covering menstrual hygiene management is also not yet fully institutionalized. As a result, according to a UNICEF study, one in four females has never discussed menstruation with anyone before its onset. They also do not receive sufficient reliable information from their teachers or parents, making it difficult to gain correct knowledge about menstruation. In addition, many schools do not have adequate hygiene environment, including a lack of sanitation facilities. For this reason, one in six girls is absent from school for one or more days during menstruation, and this is one factor in girls' low rate of school attendance.
To improve this situation, Kao is supporting training for principals and health guidance instructors as well as classes on menstruation at public junior high schools in Tangerang, Banten Province. The educational pamphlet "Secret of the Two Worlds" (Rahasia Dua Dunia) that Kao and UNICEF have produced features a story about puberty concerning a female student, the protagonist, who attends junior high school. Readers can learn about the human body and about respecting themselves and other people through the protagonist's various interactions with male students, teachers, and others around her. The opinions of students and educators were incorporated in the development of the pamphlet to create educational materials that could be used throughout Indonesia, irrespective of regional cultural and religious practices and beliefs. Use of the materials at homes is also encouraged.
This project plans to reach 12,000 adolescents including male students in 40 schools and change the behavior of 2,500 adolescents during its activity timeframe until the end of 2020. This is anticipated to deepen understanding of menstrual hygiene management among a greater number of students, allow female students to enjoy more comfort and better hygiene management during menstruation, and encourage male students' understanding of female students. In addition, presenting this project as a model will serve to encourage the incorporation of menstrual hygiene management in the school health program of Indonesia.
The Kao Group established its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, in April 2019. Kao will implement its unique ESG activities globally, including the Menstrual Hygiene Management Project, to deliver satisfaction and enriched lives for people around the world, and to contribute to the sustainability of society.
January 2018–December 2020 (3 years)
Tangerang, Banten Province, Java Island, Indonesia
1. Raise awareness around the issue of menstrual hygiene management to district government officials such as education, health, and social affairs officers, and public junior high school health guidance instructors and educators
2. Have teachers give lessons on menstruation to junior high school students using educational materials developed with the participation of students and their caregivers
3. Propose for incorporating menstrual hygiene management into school education in Indonesia
4. Communication inside and outside Japan on the current situation of menstrual hygiene management and related issues that young people in Indonesia face
UNICEF Indonesia, Japan Committee for UNICEF
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