Menstrual health is crucial to every woman’s well-being as well as her family & community at large. However, attitudes, traditions, and institutional biases- always create a hindrance for women to comfortably talk about periods openly, voice concerns or have access to means for maintaining proper menstrual hygeine.
In Indian society, menstruation is still a taboo, high percentage of illiteracy, particularly among girls, poverty, and a lack of knowledge about menstrual health and hygiene are the main causes of this taboo’s continued relevance in Indian society. In India, fewer than 18% of women use sanitary pads. As per a study conducted by National Family Health Survey (NFHS), 44% Karnataka women aged between 15-24 still use cloth during menstruation cycle, which is utterly unhygienic but still in use to do lack of awareness. 44% in Karnataka is a whopping percentage and is the highest among South Indian states while Kerala is at 40.2% and Andhra Pradesh at 36.2%.
Vending machines for Menstruation products in schools/ colleges and workplaces: A step towards empowering women
Studies have shown that women who have completed twelve years of formal education or more tend to be more hygienic and aware of it, and they do not favor using cloth. In contrast, this is true of uneducated women. 90% versus 44% is the difference in percentage. Education and menstrual protection hygiene practices are closely related. The installation of sanitary napkin vending machines in educational institutes has sparked widespread discussion and earned support as a progressive idea in recent years. These machines aim to empower young women, eliminate stigmas, and advance gender equality by making menstrual hygiene products easily accessible.
Similarly, women at workplaces need access to sanitary pad vending machines and disposal machines inorder to be able to work more productively. Most of often women end up borrowing a pad from their female colleague when they have their periods earlier than expected. The conversation around this is usually in hush hush tones and filled with hesitation & dismay. Eventually they
By making these essential products readily available within educational institutions and workplaces we can begin to normalize conversations around menstruation and empower young girls and working women to voice their needs and concerns.
In line with the above, we were wondering if you would like to connect with an expert at Manipal Academy of Higher Education to understand the importance of menstrual hygiene management and steps to be taken to break down barriers, promote menstrual hygiene awareness, and empower women to live their lives without any limitations imposed by menstruation.