Long Read
1 June 2015

Give girls in India 1 Week Extra every month

From May 26 till June 8th the campaign 1WeekExtra takes place in the Netherlands. Together with Rutgers and Women on Wings, we have launched this campaign to ask attention for our joint programme to improve the situation of menstruating girls and women in India.

Girls and women in rural areas in India are often not able to participate in daily life during their monthly period.  1WeekExtra enables girls and women in India to have this extra week. So that they can go to school, go to work and develop themselves four weeks per month instead of three.

Joint programme in India

The programme in India takes place in two districts in the state of Bihar, northern India: Munger and Bhagalpur. In total 1.320.000 girls and women between the ages of 12 and 49 years live here. There is a real need for change: 10% of the women in India believe that menstruation is a disease, 87% of the girls are completely unprepared when they have their first period, 28% of the girls do not attend school during their period due to lack of facilities and materials and 300 million girls and women use unsanitary materials during their period.

Improving knowledge and resources

Knowledge about menstrual hygiene and availability of sanitary pads will make a substantial difference to the daily lives and futures of these girls and women. The programme educates them about menstrual hygiene in schools, village communities and health centres of the government through information and training sessions with the help of local female role models. In addition, a knowledge centre and a sustainable sales and distribution network of sanitary pads will be established, the latter generating income for women.

The ultimate goal is to inform 660.000 girls and women in Bihar to realise a better menstrual hygiene, give access to 165.000 girls and women to affordable sanitary pads via a local distribution network with female entrepreneurs, give 815 women work in that network and raise awareness among 200,000 boys and men about the importance of menstruation and menstrual hygiene.

Support the campaign

The campaign 1WeekExtra targets girls and women in the Netherlands between 18 and 49 years to raise awareness about the issues in India about menstrual hygiene. We activate them to give their own interpretation on the question ‘what would you do with 1 week extra?’ On the web platform  www.1weekextra.nl  all information can be found about the campaign and our programme in India.

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