Pakistan is a nation of more than 188 million people. 61% of its population lives in rural areas. Its life expectancy at birth is 66 years and its per capita Gross Domestic Product, purchasing power parity, is 5042 (USD). Enrollment in secondary education has been increasing in recent years, but fewer than half the boys were enrolled in 2015 while girls’ enrollment trails boys at just 40%.[1]

UNICEF supports Pakistan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – an opportunity to advance the rights and well-being of every child. Through the equity strategy, which emphasizes the most excluded and disadvantaged children, UNICEF translates its commitment to child rights into action. Meaningful success will depend on renewed and effective partnerships at every level, from the federal government down to communities where our work has the most tangible impact. It requires high quality data and research, and innovative ways of addressing challenges.[2]

The WinS4Girls program aimed to provide girls with materials for MHM, and to educate teachers, parents and other stakeholders through awareness raising sessions. The programme also contributed to UNICEF’s overall efforts to advance policies around MHM which resulted in MHM inclusion on national and provincial WASH in Schools Strategies.

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.


  • Real Medicine Foundation (RMF).
  • WaterAid.
  • MHM interventions under Urban WASH Programme in Jacobabad.
  • Farmer’s Friends Organization (FFO).
  • Lodhran Pilot Project (LPP)-Punjab.
  • Water Environment and Sanitation Society (WESS).
  • Concern Worldwide Pakistan (CWW).
  • Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP).


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 materials that include: sanitary pads, soap, water bottles, tissue, dark colored scarves, and bags for disposal
  • Education materials for teachers and students that includes basic and instructional information on MHM; awareness campaigns in schools and communities, support for parents and teachers committees to promote MHM in schools.
  • Establishment of MHM working groups at national level and in two provinces to advocate for MHM with policy-makers.
  • WASH facilities including gender segregated facilities and hand washing facilities were also constructed on rehabilitated.
  • To further promote positive MHM related behaviors celebrity athletes were engaged as part of the ‘Be Bold Be Free’ campaign to advocate for MHM. An MHM innovation Challenge was also launched that sought innovative ideas and tools to address MHM issues from Pakistani youth.


The research explored the understanding and perceptions of adolescent girls through mixed methodologies including interviews and focus group discussions. The understanding and perceptions of parents was captured through key informant interviews. It also assessed the physical state of school water, sanitation and disposal facilities through observation visits.

Additionally UNICEF’s SMS platform U-Report was used to conduct surveys and live chats to supplement the formative research.

Visit the Resources Section to download the implementation package