Cristina is the chairman and driving force behind the Giving Wings Foundation, a Swedish foundation focused on education and healthcare for women and girls with a specific interest in menstrual hygiene. She is an active board member of Afripads in Uganda and Acumen. Cristina started her career working for Baxter Healthcare in Chicago as a principal engineer, designing medical devices and biotech products. Following an MBA, she worked in the management consulting industry for McKinsey & Co.
girls interviewed by peers on sexual, reproductive, and menstrual health
girls gathered program insights as peer researchers
Menstrual hygiene is a critical but often overlooked component of girls’ sexual and reproductive health.
Many teen girls in Nepal do not understand the changes taking place with their bodies during puberty. With a lack of hygienic sanitary materials and disposal options, limited privacy and clean water, girls are left to manage their periods in uncomfortable and unhygienic ways. The situation is made worse by cultural attitudes that view menstruation as something negative or shameful, leading to the exclusion of women and girls from aspects of social and cultural life.
This project aims to understand the barriers preventing teen girls from accessing products for and education on their reproductive health, including menstrual hygiene, and to create the first girl-centered solutions to effectively address these barriers in Nepal.
By assessing the motivations of teen girls and the marketplace for reproductive health products and services in the country, PSI will gather evidence to fill knowledge gaps and inform the design of an approach that meets their needs. From health care providers to parents and teachers, this research will help to paint a comprehensive picture of the forces that shape the daily reality for Nepalese girls. Models to improve the reproductive health and menstrual hygiene landscape for girls will then be designed in collaboration with girls, putting the power of their input behind the development of solutions.
The insights and lessons learned from this project will help PSI and its partners design more effective programs to improve the health of teen girls in Nepal and will serve as a model for how menstrual hygiene can be incorporated into ongoing reproductive health programs for girls globally.
Armed with a wealth of knowledge on the preferences of teen girls in Nepal and the social and cultural drivers of their behavior, PSI and other organizations will be better equipped to integrate menstrual health services into existing programs. Large government and multilateral donors have shown considerable interest in supporting such approaches once proven, and such partnerships can help millions of girls stay healthy in the transition to adulthood.
Through this study, PSI identified and interviewed the people whose beliefs, perceptions, and cultural values influence girls’ menstrual practices in Nepal. These included mothers, aunts, local religious leaders, teachers, and healthcare workers, among others. With this data, PSI seeks to create the first girl-centered solutions to effectively improve girls’ menstrual health and hygiene. The full […]
This study the first of its kind in Nepal. In this study, adolescent girls interacted with their peers as researchers to interpret their beliefs, attitudes, and experiences around menstrual health. Peer ethnography enabled PSI’s research team to take an in-depth look not only at girls’ lives, but also at the role family, friends, and institutions […]
This scoping review and preliminary mapping of Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management (MHM) in Nepal is one of the first of its kind in Nepal. Through this review, we studied in-depth the MHM situation in Nepal, bottlenecks and opportunities for the way forward. The full review document is available here: Scoping Review and Preliminary Mapping of […]
AT LEAST HALF A BILLION WOMEN WORLDWIDE LACK THE BASIC RESOURCES TO MANAGE THEIR MENSTRUAL HEALTH. CRISTINA STADLER LJUNGBERG, J94, DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. TUFTS UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE, SPRING 2017 BY JENNIFER MCFARLAND FLINT Last fall, Cristina Stadler Ljungberg spent two weeks traveling across Nepal, hauling deep into the country’s remotest reaches a suitcase […]