Drawing on field experiences from Accra and Kumasi in Ghana, this paper reflects upon the methodological lessons learned in researching the sanitation and hygiene needs of perimenopausal women in two low income communities.
As increased urbanisation brings the challenges of providing sustainable and equitable sanitation and hygiene provision for all, a globally ageing population will bring more women in low income countries passing through the perimenopause, the transition to menopause, with various hidden sanitation and hygiene needs.
A lack of knowledge upon these needs also means that effective methods to work with perimenopausal women are not well established. An effective methodology to explore perimenopausal women’s sanitation and hygiene needs encourages participation and engagement with the topic through use of appropriate tools , and effective community mobilisation.
A collaboration of different people in a team, group reflection and adaptation of tools which consider practical aspects and local cultural values are needed to understand such needs.