The Shame & Waste Around Our Periods
To say that women in India are mostly unaware of menstrual hygiene and care would be a massive understatement.
One statistic shows that 23% of girls drop out of school in India simply because there aren't any girl's toilets available, which are obviously necessary when menstruating. Another equally disturbing statistic shows that 90% of Indian women don't use sanitary napkins at all. Although, thanks to the efforts of people like Menstrual Man, the awareness around menstrual hygiene, and the availability of sanitary napkins, has increased substantially. Before, women would use ash, newspaper and even sand. This wasn’t just ignorant, but dangerous, for obvious reasons — dirt and disease could enter the vagina, causing infection.
Traditionally, women have also been using cloth, and as it turns out, not only is it just as hygienic (if cleaned well and dried under the sun) as sanitary pads, it is actually far more sustainable.
Furthermore, sanitary pads create a dangerous environmental impact. India alone produces several hundred million used sanitary pads every month, with no way to dispose of them adequately, by a waste disposal system that is already overburdened.
Ecofemme in Auroville, manufactures washable cloth pads as an alternative. They prevent waste generation, are made from natural materials, are healthier when cared for properly, and even cost less. Shecup – a medical grade silicone menstrual cup – is another healthy, high quality, 100% Indian, and sustainable option.