A woman’s menstrual health is crucial to her well-being and also to the well-being of her family and community. But too often — especially in the developing world — mindsets, customs and institutional biases prevent women from getting the menstrual health care they need. Menstrual hygiene continues to be amongst the most challenging development issues today.
The main reasons for this taboo still being relevant in Indian society are the high rate of illiteracy especially in girls, poverty, and lack of awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. Only less than 18 percent of Indian women use sanitary pads.
On a global level, at least 500 million women and girls lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management. Lack of adequate information on sanitation and hygiene facilities, particularly in public places like schools, workplaces or health centers can pose a major obstacle to women and girls. A large number of girls in many less economically stable families drop out of school when they begin menstruating. More than 77 percent of menstruating girls and women in India use old cloth, which is often reused, ashes, newspapers, dried leaves, rugs, and husk sand during periods.
The objective of this campaign is to provide information to dispel myths and taboos surrounding this issue as well as provide proper means to manage hygiene and sanitation. The holistic sensitization program will be accomplished through integrated awareness, motivation and distribution of hygiene kits, sanitary pads and educating the children and young women on reproductive and adolescent health. It will provide them with know-how on how to handle menstruation, improve knowledge of personal hygiene and boost confidence by answering unanswered questions through interactive and engaging training methods.