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Funded Menstrual Hygiene for Girls and Women in Bangladesh

Dacope Upazilla, Khulna Distrikt , Bangladesh

ASCEND e.V. supports the construction of a hygienic fabric supply structure in Bangladesh, establishing a local manufacturing facility for sanitary napkins, and training and education for women and girls

Mara from ASCEND e.V.
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The subject of menstruation is subject to strong taboos in Bangladeshi society. Girls and women are considered "unclean" during their menstrual period and are excluded from much of the social activity during this period. Cultural beliefs and social norms severely limit the awareness and communication of issues related to female menstruation, both within families and within society at large. Young girls are mostly uneducated about menstruation and its significance as a natural part of human life, and as a result experience humiliation and shame during their first menstrual cycles. Societal norms are such that menstruating women are thought to be unclean and thus unfit for handling shared goods such as food. The rejection of any open communication jeopardizes feminine health over the long term and makes life more difficult.
 
 What is the problem?
  • Extreme taboos and superstitions about menstruation. Extremely conservative society
  • High poverty and low education (<30 %)
  • 97% of women do not use sanitary napkins. Usually cloths or rags are used
  • Menstrual wipes cannot dry properly
  • Limited access to sanitary facilities and products 
  • Men are mostly unwilling to buy feminine hygiene products in the market or in the city
 
 What are our goals?
  • Conduct training and workshops to educate girls and women and raise male awareness about menstruation and menstrual hygiene
  • Organize health camps to treat menstrual disorders
  • Build a local manufacturing facility to produce affordable, reusable sanitary napkins
  • Develop a mobile supply unit which delivers from regional sanitary products as well as locally produced articles to the villages of the project area. 
  • Develop an economically viable model for the production and distribution of high quality and low cost hygiene products in Bangladesh, and support on setting up a social enterprise
 
The project area is located in the subdistrict Dacope Upazilla, Khulna district in Bangladesh, comprising 10 villages. Nearly four thousand women and girls of menstruating age live in this region.
Duration March to August 2019
more info: 
https://www.ascend-global.org/english/projects/menstrual-hygiene-initiative/