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WEAW has started a massive national campaign around sanitation and hygiene, a safe space to talk about menstruation. The response was tremendous, women and girls gathered in large numbers with mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends to discuss, share and ask the most intimate of questions. They tested simple training and communication tools and partnered in developing methodologies to break the silence and create safe menstrual hygiene management conditions together.
Menstruation and menstrual hygiene are emerging as pivotal issues for gender equality, human rights and development.Menstruation is a sign of female health and vitality and can no more be shrouded in fear, shame or embarrassment. Breaking the silence around menstruation is essential for women and girls to be able to reach their full potential.
It is estimated that an average woman will have 3,000 days of menstruation. That requires a lot of pads. Unfortunately, sanitary napkins are too expensive for most women living in rural areas throughout many low- and middle-income countries.
A study by AC Nielsen found that only 12% of women in India can afford and have access to pads. Most women resort to using rags, straw, leaves, and even soil. This means that the time of the month is not only uncomfortable and unhygienic, but it also leaves many girls ashamed to be on their periods. In a study conducted by water aid, an Indian teenager asked, ““How can I wash blood in the toilet? The drain that leads out is not covered. My father and brothers are in the courtyard.”

The Cause

Menstruation and menstrual hygiene are emerging as pivotal issues for gender equality, human rights and development.

WEAW has started a massive national campaign around sanitation and hygiene, a safe space to talk about menstruation.

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The response was tremendous, women and girls gathered in large numbers with mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends to discuss, share and ask the most intimate of questions. They tested simple training and communication tools and partnered in developing methodologies to break the silence and create safe menstrual hygiene management conditions together.

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What We Learned

WEAW’s campaign –

  • All participants in our studies were eager to discuss menstruation.
  • They asked a wide range of questions about sexual and reproductive health and early pregnancy.

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  • Highlighting the need for comprehensive sexuality education.
  • It is especially imperative that adolescent girls be able to access correct, basic information before they have their first period.
  • According to national family health survey (NFHS, 2015-16) nearly 62% women in the age group 15-22 years still rely on the clothes during periods.
  • Over 45% women felt that menstruation was still consider a taboo in the Indian society and 36% felt uncomfortable buying sanitary essentials from medical stores.
  • As per WHO(World Health Organization) survey conducted in 35 cities all over India in October 2017

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What we do

WEAW will continue to distribute free Sanitary napkin Pads poor Woomen/Girls & setup PAD BANKS throughout the country and will give  trainings on menstrual hygiene and develop capacity for outreach and awareness campaigns to demystify menstruation among women

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and men. It is essential to raise awareness among religious, community and other leaders to support the participation of women and girls in decision that concerns their lives, and it is also important to work with women and men as well as girls and boys.

While some people are still reluctant to discuss it, menstrual hygiene has proven to be a powerful entry point to raise broader issues around such as –

  • Gender equality
  • Women’s and girls’ empowerment
  • Sexuality education
  • Child marriage, fistula and female genital mutilation.

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