Simavi teamed up with TNO for the ‘Partnership Verkiezing 2014’ competition. This initiative encourages companies to partner up with an NGO or government and develop a business case to invest in a developing country. Simavi and TNO developed a business case on biodegradable sanitary napkins. The objective is to make these available for women working in the garment industry -and eventually all women of lower income families- in Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh many girls and women use old cloths -known as “nekra”- to manage their menstruation, which seriously increases the risk of infections. The cultural taboo surrounding menstruation results in a lack of information and awareness about menstrual hygiene management. This limits girls’ and women’s opportunities to maintain proper personal hygiene during their monthly periods. As a result, discomfort and shame are added to the health problem.
In addition, napkins as we know in western society are not affordable, not easily available and put a lot of pressure on Bangladesh’ growing waste problem. TNO and Simavi came up with a technical innovation to tackle this problem: Bio-Wings. High quality, affordable and biodegradable napkins. This will offer a more hygienic solution which is also environmentally friendly. Simavi will embed this technology in hygiene training and awareness to improve the menstruation related well-being of 2,6 million women working in the garment industry in Bangladesh.