One of the full papers presented at the South Asia Hygiene practitioners’ workshop, 1 – 4 February 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop is organised by BRAC, WaterAid, WSSCC, and IRC and is part of five learning and sharing workshops on sanitation and hygiene organised in 2009 and 2010.
|Freedom of mobility: experiences from villages in the states of Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh India
|Year of Publication
|12 p.; ill.; 3 tab.
|education, education of women, hygiene, india, india madhya pradesh, menstruation, personal hygiene, schools
India's population of 1.17 billion (estimate for July, 2009) is approximately one-sixth of the world's population. Nearly half of the Indians – women - are mostly neglected especially relating to their gender specific needs. On an average a woman spends 2100 days of her life menstruating but accessibility and affordability of menstruation products is largely absent, which restricts women’s mobility and affects the development of adolescent girls. Since the SACOSAN 2008 declaration where the government has specifically committed to menstrual hygiene promotion, there is an increased recognition of the need and effort required to generate awareness and improve knowledge and facilities for menstrual hygiene management such as incinerators in school toilets, and a manual on menstrual hygiene. In rural India the problem is exacerbated as many women have not seen sanitary napkin, nor are they aware about their use. Many poor women menstruate on their skirts or use the same set of cloths for months together. WaterAid India in partnership with local NGOs has carried out a survey on existing behaviours, misconceptions and the status on availability and accessibility to menstruation products, and responded modestly to the need, by developing menstrual hygiene communication tools and linked the demand to entrepreneurship. The paper highlights the survey findings and the interventions presenting best practices from across the country. It makes a strong case of local initiatives and micro credit programmes which can support napkin production as an entrepreneurial and livelihood model for women and in turn facilitating upscaling and mainstreaming of menstrual hygiene with due emphasis in the larger sanitation programmes. [authors abstract]