Afghanistan has increased its life expectancy, mean years of schooling, and purchasing power parity in recent years. However, there are disparities in girls’ education with attendance rates between 25% - 50% lower than boy’s rates.[1] Early marriage remains a concern and patriarchal social norms reduce the ability of girls to fulfill their rights to education, health, and well-being. While there are many challenges, the government has made efforts to improve the services and development outcomes for all its citizens.[2]

UNICEF promotes the rights of children and women throughout Afghanistan and works to bring basic services, including education, health, nutrition, protection, water and sanitation and hygiene to those who are most in need.[3]

The WinS4Girls program, in partnership with the government, aims to develop human capacity, sensitize stakeholders, and advocate for MHM to improve the situation of girls at school.

Quick Facts
Percentage of schools with:
Basic drinking water
Basic sanitation or toilets

Literacy rate for youth (15 - 24 years old) 47
Primary education completion rate 35
Secondary education completion rate 14
Gender parity rate in secondary schools competition (number of females to male) 0.27


Global Education Monitoring Report, Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Solutions for All. UNESCO, 2016. Paris, FR.


  • Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health.
  • Kabul Medical University.
  • Regional and Provincial Directorates for Education.
  • Emerging Leaders Consulting Services (research implementing partner).


Under WinS4Girls, UNICEF worked with ministries of education and other partners at national level (typically through MHM Working Groups) to develop and promote a MHM intervention package informed by the WinS4Girls formative research.

Depending on the country, the intervention packages have taken different forms in response to the diverse needs expressed by girls, their teachers, and their families during the research. For example, they may include national or sub-national policies and guidelines; learning and communication materials; and training modules for teachers, health workers, and peer educators. In some cases, the package has included infrastructure development and pad production or distribution.

The package includes the following:

  • MHM guideline for girls and teachers to understand how to engage learners on the subject of MHM.
  • A story book for girls on how to manage menstrual hygiene.


The MHM research report is designed for advocacy, and has been translated into Dari and Pashto to reach all in-country partners. The research used interviews and focus group discussions to capture a range of stakeholder perspectives. The research report shared widely with the government ministries and NGOs. As a result, a number of NGOS such as JEN, SCA, PIN and HEEDA developed their program based on findings of the MHM formative research.

Visit the Resources Section to download the implementation package