Women’s health impacts society deeply and on many levels – from household incomes and workforce contribution to family stability and socio-economic indices. Reproductive health is an important aspect of women’s well-being. Lack of awareness and low adoption rate of safe menstrual health & hygiene management (MHM) practices, pose a serious threat and can lead to several challenges across health, gender equality, sanitation, and other socio-economic development factors. Studies associate lack of access to WaSH facilities and unhygienic WaSH practices with higher RTI incidence in rural Indian girls and women across reproductive life stages.
In this context, the Tata Trusts initiated the Menstrual Health & Hygiene Management programme in 2018. There are four key objectives in the MHM programme, which are summarised as the EPIC model:
- Encouraging equitable gender norms through behavioural change
- Promoting social entrepreneurship
- Inculcating safe and hygienic habits
- Creating awareness for responsible disposal
While the programme has been able to encourage menstruation-related conversations, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The findings of a gender-focused study commissioned by the Trusts, suggest that issues such as availability and pricing of pads, deep-rooted social norms, health-seeking behaviour and responsible disposal by users need to be addressed in order to show sustained results in improving the health of young women in rural India.
Tata Trusts’ Menstrual Health and Hygiene - Dignity. Wellbeing. Empowerment report is an effort to document the need for MHM in India and to offer a way forward. Through this report on our on-ground interventions and case stories, this report is a sincere effort to make our learnings and insights available to a wider set of stakeholders who strive to bring equity and health to the women of our country.
Learn more about our work and the impact we're making in MHM ! Click to read or download the report.
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