On average a woman spends ten years of her life menstruating. Most women experience pain, discomfort and lack energy during their periods. In India, girls and women experience extra constraints during menstruation.
Due to cultural beliefs surrounding sexual reproductive health and blood, they face limitations in managing their menstruation as well as their participation in daily live. A lack of knowledge of how to maintain proper hygiene – even at home – often leads to infections. Since women in India often don’t have access to affordable, good quality sanitary napkins or proper WASH facilities, it is almost impossible to manage their menstruation in a healthy way. This has a significant impact on their personal development, economic status and health.
Improve the health and wellbeing of 660,000 women and girls in the intervention areas in India.
- Improve awareness and knowledge of the importance of hygiene management;
- Improve access to sanitary napkins.
Making Periods Normal is implemented by Simavi, Rutgers WPF and Women on Wings.
Drawing on extensive experience, the consortium works together with local partners to provide information and share knowledge of menstrual hygiene management and prevention of infections. While access to affordable sanitary pads is created by setting up a local distribution model. Local women are trained as entrepreneurs to distribute these sanitary napkins.
The programme uses this integrated approach to enable girls and women to fully participate in private and public life during menstruation. In addition, the consortium seeks to raise awareness among Dutch women about the psychological, social and medical impact of poor menstrual hygiene management for women and girls in India.
Together with two local partners, Simavi trains local health workers on menstrual hygiene. Female role models from the local communities are involved. By raising awareness and training these influential women in the villages, communities change their view on menstruation and increase demand for menstrual hygiene management. Simavi’s activities include (but are not limited to):
- Training women’s self-help groups on menstrual hygiene management;
- Educating men on menstrual hygiene management;
- Implementing awareness raising activities within communities, such as plays and wall paintings;
- Building the capacity of health workers to work on menstrual hygiene management;
- Advocacy on menstrual hygiene management related issues, such as proper WASH facilities in schools.
With this approach, the Making Periods Normal programme seeks to banish the cultural beliefs surrounding menstrual hygiene whilst providing girls and women with knowledge and access to the services they need to improve their health. Together, these strategies will help both men and women view menstruation as a natural change in a woman’s body. To ensure sustainable change, every service and activity is implemented according to our FIETS principles.
Making Periods Normal is implemented in line with a results framework that tracks progress made against key outcome and output indicators.
These are the indicators that Simavi tracks with its partners from 2014 till 2017:
- 660,000 women and girls have become aware of the risks of bad menstrual hygiene and of ways to improve their menstrual hygiene management;
- 200,000 men and boys have been (indirectly) informed about menstruation and the importance of menstrual hygiëne;
- 165,000 women and girls have access to affordable sanitary napkins through a local network of distributors;
- 815 women will be employed as distributor of napkins within three years;
- 25% of women and girls in Munger and Bhagalpur use sanitary napkins to manage their menstruation.
You can find a complete programme results overview of 2015 here.