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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cloth Pad Story 3 - 70% can't afford sanitary napkins

Dear All,

I came across this article yesterday about a study in India revealed that "Only 12% of India's 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins.".

Excerpt from the Article:
"NEW DELHI: Only 12% of India's 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins (SNs).
Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like unsanitised cloth, ashes and husk sand.
Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is 70% more common among these women.
Inadequate menstrual protection makes adolescent girls (age group 12-18 years) miss 5 days of school in a month (50 days a year). Around 23% of these girls actually drop out of school after they started menstruating.
The biggest barrier to using a sanitary napkin is affordability. Around 70% of women in India say their family can't afford to buy them."
Details below:

Due to the study , there are a few initiatives being taken:
1) Menstrual hygiene week  launched
"NEW DELHI: Chandrakanta carefully went through the literature and colourful pamphlets at a stall that gave out information on sanitary napkins. Curious teenagers shyly heard the counsellor at the stall sharing information on menstrual hygiene. Some others came forward to buy the small packets of sanitary napkins on offer at a special price of Rs 10 each.
Chandrakanta pointed out that it was a real challenge for them to convince women to stop using cloth and instead shift to sanitary napkins to prevent infections during mensturation. "

I am concerned about this statement of "to convince women to stop using cloth"...  :(  I think it should be "to convince women to stop using dirty cloth".   They shouldn't be sending the wrong message of using cloth is not right!

2) Free sanitary napkins for poor students in Delhi govt schools
" In a novel initiative, Delhi government will soon make available sanitary napkins free of cost to girl students from poor families in all schools run by it to ensure that their attendance do not suffer due to hygiene-related issues. Officials said the initiative is being taken to address high levels of absenteeism by girls students from poor families."

While it is good that there is awareness that the poor women in India need helps, but is Disposable Sanitary Napkins the only ANSWER?   In poor places, clean water supply maybe an issue, using cloth pads may not be easy for the girls, is there a sustainable way to resolve this? 


Mila@Rimbun said...

dont they wash the cloth after using it? I think we, in Malaysia, has been using cloth for soo many years since our great great grand mothers.. but I dont think we had problems with hygiene. I did use cloth in my early years and dont have problems to go to school.

Anic said...

Good question. I think some of them wash their cloths by the river and the river is probably polluted.

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