Giving Compass’ Take:
• Anshu Gupta, writing for India Development Review, discusses why awareness alone is not enough when it comes to women’s menstrual health in India. There needs to be safe spaces for targeted discussions around safety, hygiene, and access to sanitary products.
• How can local groups help women gain access to menstrual health services and education?
• Read more about women’s health, here.
When we talk about the basic needs of humankind, we refer to food, shelter, and clothing. But clothing has historically been an ignored ‘non-issue’. Twenty years ago, our work at Goonj started around this basic necessity—clothing. That became the foundation of Goonj, and through our work, we began to notice that cloth plays many different roles. For women, one of the most basic uses of cloth is for five to seven days every month, during menstruation.
In the early 2000s, menstrual hygiene hadn’t really been mapped as an issue or a problem—by either the development sector or the government. There was no real problem statement, and there were no real solutions for the vast majority of women who are at the bottom of the pyramid. New to this issue, we didn’t quite understand the nuances of menstrual hygiene, but were still surprised by the absence of attention and awareness around the issue. Because in India—whether you work with self-help groups, microfinance institutions, or anganwadis—the first stakeholder you talk to and interact with is a woman.
Even today, more than a decade later, menstruation is still a taboo subject in India; not just in rural areas but in cities as well. Try buying a pack of sanitary pads from your chemist—it will invariably be handed over to you wrapped in a black polythene bag or a newspaper.
The government, civil society, and even mainstream Bollywood have started to generate a lot of awareness around menstrual health. And with the entry of so many menstrual hygiene product manufacturers, the landscape is changing. But awareness is not enough. Have social norms also changed? Has any of this translated into solving the challenges that millions of women face every month when they menstruate?
Read the full article about women’s menstrual health by Anshu Gupta at India Development Review.
Interested in learning more about Women and Girls? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to Women and Girls.
Looking for a way to get involved?
Global Health is a fascinating topic, and others found these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities aggregated by Giving Compass to be relevant for individuals with a passion for Global Health.
Are you ready to give?
Global Health is an important topic. Other members found these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass to be relevant to individuals with a passion for Global Health.