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Accessibility of Sanitary Pads in India

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A hundred miles away, Shivi, a 13-year-old girl, is dropping out of school. Why? Because she got her first period in school, leaving her with an embarrassing stain on her uniform and making her the talk of the town for the months that follow.

A lack of access to menstrual hygiene products leaves many girls like Shivi in such a situation. According to UNESCO, 23 Million girls drop out of school due to a lack of menstrual hygiene and awareness. Having no access to menstrual products, period education, hygiene facilities, waste management, or a mix of these causes many girls to lose a big part of their lives. This brings physical, mental, as well as emotional challenges. It can cause people to feel ashamed of menstruation and create a stigma that can make girls hide away. Often, women are forced to use leaves, ash, husk, sand, or dirty clothes during periods, increasing the chance of getting urinary tract and bacterial infections.

How can we help women that find themselves in unfortunate situations like these?

  • Support Period Education
  • Now that you know about the lack of Period Knowledge and how it affects women, it is time for you to speak up. Look around yourself, see if someone needs help with sanitary pads, teach young girls about the importance of hygienic products during periods, and be the voice of change.

  • Donate period products
  • Period products are not available for free, nor are they easily accessible to many women in India. If you can, donate sanitary pads to those in need.

    Signing a petition or supporting a campaign is the easiest thing you can do. Numerous campaigns keep running across the world. You can be a part of them, raise awareness about periods, and be a part of the change.

    Generating awareness and making period education accessible to people might take a lot of time, but it’s certainly not impossible. SOFY understands this and continually does its bit. As part of Unicharm’s initiative to nurture female entrepreneurs and promote the use of feminine hygiene products in rural India, we have set up female-owned shops to provide rural women with menstrual products. While we are playing our part, we hope that more people come forward to support Period Education in India.

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