Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It has a population of more than 18 million, 70% of whom lives in rural areas. The life expectancy is 59 years at birth. Its per capita Gross Domestic Product, purchasing power parity, is 1659 (USD). Both primary and secondary enrollment ratios have been steadily increasing since 2007. The rates for girls is consistently lower than for boys, though that gap is narrowing.[1]

UNICEF supports the government and civil society in the implementation of programs and policies for the realization of children's rights. In a time characterized by growing inequality, recession and crises due to conflict and natural disasters, UNICEF’s goal is to give priority to children of Burkina Faso, to touch the most vulnerable and get better results for their survival and development.[2]

The WinS4Girls program in Burkina Faso uses several entry points for puberty education and menstrual hygiene management. This includes raising awareness within the whole school environment - girls, boys, and teachers and building the capacity of teachers to create safe spaces and to conduct community outreach.

Quick Facts
Percentage of schools with:
Basic drinking water
Basic sanitation or toilets
Of which single sex toilets

Literacy rate for youth (15 - 24 years old) 50
Primary education completion rate 30
Secondary education completion rate 3
Gender parity rate in secondary schools competition (number of females to male) 0.30


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


  • Ministry of Education through the Directorate of the Promotion of Girl’s Education and Gender in the primary, post primary and secondary levels (DPEIEFPG, MENA, MESS).
  • Ministry of Water and Sanitation though the General Directorate for Sanitation.
  • Regional and Provincial Directorates for Education.
  • WaterAid, SNV.
  • Barka Fondation.
  • International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC).


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:

  • Communication tools / IEC materials: a booklet, a guide and two posters. The booklet gives general information on puberty and MHM to girls to increase their knowledge and provide them with practical information on MHM.
  • The MHM activity guide provides instructions for six suggested activities that schools could implement to create a safe space for discussion about girls’ needs and to improve schools’ capacity to initiate actions on MHM for them.
  • Two posters provide information to increase awareness of male teachers and school boys on menstruations to encourage their support for girls.
  • A MHM training manual was drafted and a module on MHM for teachers’ trainings developed to develop capacity to create safe, girl-friendly learning environments.
  • An integrated communication plan (ICP) was drafted in collaboration with the working group for improving community awareness and to explain the importance of MHM to communities and girls who are out of school.


The main goal of this research was to investigate and establish the extent of the challenges facing girls in relation to MHM in schools. Specifically, the aim was to identify the challenges facing girls in terms of MHM in schools, analyze the causes of the challenges, and develop appropriate recommendations to meet the needs of girls.

On top of the aforementioned basic package materials, the fund also contributed in providing 60 schools with new hand washing facilities, hygiene kits made of brooms and buckets for a cleaner school environment and the distribution of MHM emergency kits made of reusable pads. Furthermore, in collaboration with the implementing partner and other donor’s contributions, the project financed the construction of latrines conceived to facilitate girls’ menstrual hygiene management.

Visit the Resources Section to download the implementation package