This course provides a platform to teach undergraduate students from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Bachelor of Education students about the intersections of gender, culture, and health.
This course provides a platform to teach undergraduate students from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Bachelor of Education students about the intersections of gender, culture, and health. We will explore how menstruation is addressed in different cultures and uncover myths and misconceptions that impact individuals, their families and communities. Furthermore, the course emphasizes the health cost (physical and mental) of not educating youth about this vital process and discusses the need for an intervention. The course provides essential skills to participating students for the development of an intervention. Key concepts include: theoretical understanding of menstrual health and its impact on girls and women's lives from cross cultural perspectives, the importance of deconstructing myths and misconceptions and the importance of educating both girls and boys; cultural taboos and patriarchal power relations that contribute to myths, misconceptions and practices; public health interventions addressing the cost of ignoring adolescent health issues including menstrual health; the impact of providing agency to young girls and boys to challenge the status-quo; and links between knowledge about menstruation, human rights, gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Number of credits: 3
How You Will Learn and Work
This is a Global Classrooms Signature Course. This course will include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
General Education Credits
School of Public Health
Prerequisites & Restrictions
Restricted to majors or non-majors with less than or equal to 60 credits.
Dr. Elisabeth Maring
Dr. Elisabeth Maring is the Associate Director of the Global Health Initiative. She directs the Global Public Health Scholars program, advises Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB) and leads study abroad, traveling to India, Sierra Leone, Peru and Ethiopia. Maring is a qualitative researcher studying community violence, substance abuse, healthy homes and global families. Maring has a background with Extension and as a direct service provider to low-income, high-risk adolescents and their families.
Dr. Madhu Kushwaha
Madhu Kushwaha is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Maryland, USA in 2019-20. She has a Master’s degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Education. Her specialization includes Sociology of Education, and Gender Issues in Education. She has designed courses on Gender Issues in Education for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Education at Banaras Hindu University, India. Her research focuses on equity issues in education and documentation of gender discrimination in teachers’ classroom practices in Indian and American social contexts to improve teacher education practices. She has published a self-instructional module on menstrual education in Hindi for Indian adolescent girls. She has been awarded a Global Classroom Initiative of UMD, USA to co-teach a course in the cycle of three spring semesters from 2022 to 2024 along with Prof. Maring, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, USA. The course, Teaching Menstrual Health: Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions is multidisciplinary in its orientation and caters to the intersectional needs/areas of pedagogy, public health, and gender equity. It facilitates to achievement of the United Nations Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals of quality education and gender equality.
Dr. Kushwaha has publications in leading national and international journals of education and gender studies and has authored two books on Gender Issues in Education. She has completed four research projects including one international project. She is currently working on a research project on public health education under the Institute of Eminence scheme of BHU. She is actively involved with several nongovernmental organizations working in the field of education and gender equality.