Target: Jagat Prakash Nadda, India’s Minister of Health
Goal: Make sanitary products available to all women in India.
Women make up 50 percent of the world but less than half of women in lower or middle income countries actually have access to sanitary feminine products. Menstruation without sanitary products is a serious barrier to daily life and, in many ways, can contribute to trapping women into a life of domestic misery. Embarrassment and pain from menstruation cause many young women to skip school and work. Sanitary menstruation products should be universally available for all women, especially in less-developed countries like India.
In India, nearly a quarter of women will drop out of school when they get their periods. Additionally, as many women will agree, feminine hygiene products tend to be expensive. Seventy percent of women in India cannot afford sanitary products and even women in the U.S. sometimes have to decide between buying tampons or bread. Menstruation is a basic fact of life and nothing to be ashamed of, and products for dealing with it should be universally available.
A woman physically cannot just “hold it in,” like someone going to the bathroom. This should make feminine hygiene products even more of a basic necessity than toilet paper. And for many, their periods are not regular. A period can strike at random times. In Ghana, school attendance improved by nine percent once girls were given feminine hygiene products.
If there is no way to cleanly collect the blood flow, infections can be common. From a practical perspective, infections due to a lack of menstrual products cost a country more money, raise antibiotic resistance, and, in extreme cases, can cause death. Simply because menstruation occurs every month does not mean that women should have to suffer through it from home. Sign below to spread awareness about this basic human need.
Dear Minister Nadda,
Access to feminine hygiene products should be a basic human right. Menstruation affects over half of the world and, frankly, feeling pain and bleeding uncontrollably is not a positive feeling for any individual. Having access to tampons or sanitary pads would do a world of good for women in poorer countries and would encourage more women to enter the workforce.
Especially in countries where the percentage of female workers is low, universally-available sanitary products would make a difference. India is the perfect place to introduce such a measure. Not only would it send a positive message about women’s rights, but it would also be a practical approach to increasing productivity and lowering the number of health issues that women face – access to sanitary products lowers infection rates.
We demand that you make feminine hygiene products available to all women in India.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kristin Brenemen