Improved menstrual health and the workplace: An RCT with female Bangladeshi garment workers

Journal Article
Published on 1 June 2023

This article is forthcoming at the Journal of Development Economics.

The Working Paper version of this article was previously available on PEDL from 2019 under the name: "Menstrual Health, Worker Productivity and Well-being among Female Bangladeshi Garment Workers".



Menstrual hygiene practices in low-income countries are often limited by lack of finance and information, with potentially adverse consequences for women’s well-being and workplace outcomes. In a randomized controlled trial with around 1,900 female workers from four Bangladeshi garment factories, we relax both constraints individually and jointly by providing free sanitary pads and information on hygienic menstrual practices. Both access to sanitary pads and information improve menstrual practices, either by the adoption of new products, or by knowledge gains and improved use of traditional materials, and both interventions improve health outcomes. However, these positive effects do not translate to better labor outcomes, such as earnings and work attendance.


Kristina Czura

University of Munich

Andreas Menzel


Martina Miotto