Menstrual hygiene : It’s time to take action

This May 28th  is menstrual hygiene day and this year the focus is on taking action.

 What does this mean?
There are approximately 3.8 billion women on the planet and around 2 billion of those women are of menstruating age.

A proportion of these girls and women will struggle to afford menstrual products. This can lead them to use makeshift pads such as socks, old t-shirts, and tissue paper. This is called Period poverty. Period poverty affects girls in all parts of the world.

How can we tackle period poverty?

Charities, organisations, and period related businesses around the world are fighting to tackle period poverty through education, distributing a variety of free menstrual products, teaching villages to make reusable pads, tackling taboos, and raising awareness of women’s health. This is some of the common work happening in many developing nations, including Nepal.

However, the majority of the donations provided by charities are single-use period pads and tampons. This could be considered to be financially and environmentally uneconomical.

I strongly believe that long-term plan needs to be implemented to ensure girls and women are empowered rather than shamed, or made to feel embarrassed or awkward by being reminded of their financial difficulties.


A More Sustainable Option for Tackling Period Poverty

 How can we empower women and bring an end to period poverty?

One solution is to offer girls and women reusable period products to manage their monthly cycles. But in order for this to happen, education is needed to help people make informed decisions.

The use of reusable period pants, menstrual cups, sponges, and cloth pads is still seen as unusual, and perhaps disgusting, to a lot of women. The thought of inserting a cup, or washing pants or pads they have bled into, is something that puts them off.

If education was provided in schools and at donation collection points, girls and women could be taught how to use reusable products. This could help normalize their use, reduce uncertainty, and address any questions.

Providing education would require an initial financial outlay to raise awareness and provide the items, whether through government funding or donations. However, in the long-term, this would reduce the ongoing cost of single-use period products.

It could also empower women as they would no longer need to seek out donations on a monthly basis. There are other environmental and health benefits too, such as reducing plastic waste and using a product free from toxins.

Ideally, period poverty would be ended through increased government funding targeted at providing reusable period products to those in need, rather than relying on charities and small businesses.

So this menstrual hygiene Day let’s take sustainable action to end period poverty all around the world through education, empowerment and choices.


(Raut is the founder of Wukawear period pants) _ source - swasthyakhabar:

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