Water and Pads Project
Recommended Booklets on Menstrual Health Management
Primary Schools:

IAW is thankful to UNICEF and the Government of Malawi for the permission to disseminate their excellent brochure "ABCs of being a Girl”,
a very helpful guide on menstruation.

IAW hopes that this small illustrated brochure will arouse interest in many young people, because it is very important to know the menstrual cycle. This helps to manage many difficulties during puberty.

Donwload here

Secondary Schools:

This booklet is intended to guide girls through an important period of their life. It helps to understand the bodily changes and psychological impacts at the beginning of adulthood. It supports adolescents coping with the various challenges of puberty.

It enhances the chances and the self-confidence of becoming a woman. IAW hopes that many young people will be interested in reading this booklet about the biological life-cycle of women. IAW is expressing its great thanks to SWISS SEXUAL HEALTH , which provided IAW with the copyrights for some selected contents of their excellent booklet "Hey you!" , a booklet for adolescents in French. Download here.


Gudrun Haupter
6 August 1935  - 13 January 2024

Gudrun Haupter is no longer with us.  She is now  relieved of her old-age ailments.

She was the Co-initiator and later on Coordinator  of the "Water and Pads" WP project, which is now so successful,. Without her WP would never would have materialised.

When in 2017 she was asked  about  the ignorance about menstruation  in African countries, she  confirmed it, and was right away in favour of starting this IAW project. Thanks to Gudrun's long-standing, trusting relationships with IAW colleagues in Togo and other countries, one was soon able to start a WP pilot project. Also thanks to Gudrun, experienced translator, lAW was able to publish some WP booklets for the schoolgirls in English and French. 

Everyone involved in the WP project will remember Gudrun Haupter fondly, not least because of her always loving sense of humour. We shall miss her.


27 April 2023

The Water and Pads Project WP presented in the Wochenblatt Birseck , Switzerland

During an exchange in Arlesheim near Basel, Switzerland, 4 participants of the Water and Pads Project met to exchange their experiences. This project supported by the global women's organisation International Alliance of Women IAW reaches out to students in remote and impoverished regions of Africa and Asia,

They are taught basic knowledge about menstruation. Local IAW members organise these educational days together with the teachers in those schools....

Wochenblatt Birseck or summary in English and French

Photo from left:
Sibylle von Heydebrand, Simge Simsek, Anne Yotchou and Ursula Nakamura


IAW International Women's News No 2  2021
The Water and Pads Project


The Story of the IAW Water and Pads Project

“While they are menstruating, girls and women in rural areas are ‘dirty’, and therefore they have to leave their homes and vegetate in shabby huts being exposed to hunger, cold, disease and violence”, explained a young social worker from Nepal during a side-event at the WHO General Assembly in 2017. There was a complete silence among the whole audience with many health specialists and diplomats gathered. Nobody could believe this tragic fact...." Therefore some very dedicated IAW members started to change this... read the whole success-story here!

Anne Yotchou, Coordinator of CEFAP Cameroon, emphasizes:

"...Water and Pads is a revolutionary Project. Many girls and women in my country still don’t have full control over their sexual and reproductive health, so there is still a lot to do about that. As we look forward to continuing our work and to extending the project in 2 different regions in Cameroun (South and East) for the next stage, some of the perspectives are to go beyond what we have been doing so far..." read Anne's contribution here. (in French)


April 8, 2021

The Halton District School Ontario Canada will provide free menstrual products for students in all HDSB schools by September 2021 as part of the Free Menstrual Products Initiative, a

program designed to address some of the gaps in access to menstrual products to

promote awareness and alleviate the stigma of menstruation.... Read more

18 February 2021

New Zealand - Free Sanitary Products in Schools to Beat Period Poverty

The initiative comes following a pilot in 15 schools in Waikato where about 3,200 young people were given free period products. New Zealand’s schools will provide access to free sanitary products for female students from June as part of the government’s latest attempt to stem “period poverty” in the country.

Research shows that 1 in 12 young people skipped school because they did not have access to sanitary products...Read more


World Health Organization Yearly Assembly May 2019

Seema Uplekar and Ursula Nakamura could attend this huge event as delegates of IAW.

They could meet many people who were highly interested in the IAW Water and Pads project.

Within the official statement IAW appeals to all governments to endorse efforts to provide a good menstrual health management for girls worldwide, thus enabling them to attend school without discrimination...read more.


Photo: S. Uplekar, Dr. Ch. Mouli and U. Nakamura

At a side-event “Let’s get real” the focus was on adolescents. More research should be done about their knowledge and attitudes about SRHR. The participation of the young people “at the discussion-tables” is crucial.

Dr. Chandra Mouli also presented a new book:

WHO recommendations on adolescents sexual and reproductive health and rights”. Dr. Tedros the Director of WHO confirmed  the strong engagement of WHO on the implementation of the sexual and reproductive health rights for all.



28 May 2019
International Menstrual Hygiene Day

It's time for action! Leave no girl behind! Learn more about it!


8 March 2019
International Women's Day - Women’s Menstrual Health Should No Longer Be Taboo

GENEVA (5 March 2019) - United Nations human rights experts* call on the international community to break the taboo around menstrual health and take concrete action to ensure that discriminatory mindsets are changed, and women’s and girls’ menstrual health protected.


Menstrual Hygiene Management MHM
Knowledge, attitude and pracitces of adolescents in rural primary schools in Malawi
edited by Red Cross Malawi and Red Cross Switzerland
Author: Daniela Enzler

Period. End the Sentence

February 25th 2019
This  documentary about menstruation in  an Indian rural area got the Oscar award for the best documentary film!


International Conference on Girls' Education in  Francophone Africa

Ndjaména Cameroon 18-19 June 2019

Two members of International Alliance of Women participated at the event and promoted successfully the "Water and Pads Project":
-Anne Pélagie Yotchou, Cameroon

-Rakia Kabia Diakite, Tchad.
Read the full report here.