Columbia University Launches Open Online Course—Menstruation in a Global Context: Addressing Policy and Practice

by | Nov 16, 2021

NEW YORK, New York. Columbia University has released an open online course, Menstruation in a Global Context: Addressing Policy and Practice, to provide learners with a foundation on the global menstruation movement that aims to ensure that the menstrual needs of everyone, everywhere are met. Enrollment is now open and the course will launch on November 17, 2021. The course is free and open to all on edX.org with an optional paid verified certificate program.​

Over the last decade, menstruation has attracted increased attention as an important public health issue. This has caused a proliferation of new research, programs, and policies aimed at tackling the menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) challenges faced by girls, women and others who menstruate. Global advocates are combating ongoing menstrual stigma and calling for an end to period poverty around the world.

This course reviews the menstrual health and hygiene research, programming, and policies being implemented around the world. Participants will gain knowledge and skills on approaches for MHH program design and implementation, research, monitoring and advocacy, with an emphasis on the needs of low-income and vulnerable populations around the world. 

About Menstruation in a Global Context course

“My hope is that students of this course—ranging from practitioners in the field to learners at other educational institutions—are inspired to explore and address the menstrual health and hygiene challenges facing girls, women, and people who menstruate within their own communities, and come away from the course feeling as if they have gained the expertise on where to begin,” said Dr. Marni Sommer, Associate Professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and co-creator of the course.

The course was produced by the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning and instructors from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The course’s seven modules are available for self-paced access and feature a series of lectures and case studies from global experts. 

“For newcomers to this issue, we hope this course provides a useful background on the key menstrual health and hygiene topics and why this issue is important to the overall health and well-being of girls, women and others who menstruate. Ultimately, we hope the course supports and motivates the development of a new generation of MHH champions,” said Maggie Schmitt, Associate Director of the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment Program at Columbia, and co-creator of the course.

The Menstruation in a Global Context course is available at: https://www.edx.org/course/menstruation-in-a-global-context-addressing-policy-and-practice 

Visit ColumbiaX to keep informed about upcoming open courses from Columbia University.

About the Instructors
Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN is an Associate Professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Director of the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment (GATE) Program at Columbia. Dr. Sommer is a globally recognized expert on menstruation, gender and sexual and reproductive health, and adolescent health research and practice.

Maggie L. Schmitt, MPH is the Associate Director for the GATE Program at Columbia University since 2009, working on a range of menstrual health and hygiene (MHH), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and adolescent health issues in low-resource and humanitarian settings.

Caitlin Gruer, MPH is a Program Manager for the GATE Program at Columbia University. Her work focuses on the use of participatory research methods to understand the lived experiences of women and girls related to menstruation, puberty, and sanitation.

About the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University
The Center for Teaching and Learning partners with faculty, students, and colleagues across the University to support excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. The CTL is committed to advancing the culture of teaching and learning for professional development, curricular enhancement, and academic support through its programs, services, and resources.