The country is in a dire need for menstrual hygiene solutions that minimise health risks for women and girls and there is a need to deal with all menstrual waste effectively.
Ahead of Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, WaterAid India’s released its brief report ‘Menstrual Hygiene Management: Informed Product Choice and Disposal’ with an aim to create awareness regarding the menstrual product landscape in India for women and girls to start making an informed choice as per their needs.
It calls upon the women to identify menstrual hygiene products available in the market and look for their quality certification; choose appropriate menstrual hygiene product depending on your need, comfort, availability, cost, ease of disposal and environmental implications; try different products and select what suits one best and try a mixed-use approach for comfort and to minimise waste.
When disposing products, wrap disposable pads or tampons in paper before disposing. Try to segregate menstrual waste from other household waste, and encourage collection of segregated waste. Do not flush used products down the toilet, burn them in the open or bury shallow pits, the report said.
It also told that the users need to demand from the manufacturers a wider range of safe, hygienic and sustainable products which are easily available; carry out research and development for products that are safe and have the least environmental impact and support informed product choice.
Besides, it asked the users to demand from policy makers education/ awareness on menstrual hygiene management with information on the complete basket of products available; facilitate user choice by making different categories of products available, accessible and affordable to women and girls.
Arundati Muralidharan, Manager-Policy at WaterAid India said, “The menstrual health and hygiene landscape in India has evolved, with more product categories available than ever before. At this critical juncture, the conceptualisation and practice of informed product choice in menstrual hygiene programmes and policy is imperative. Informed product choice enables girls and women to choose a safe menstrual hygiene product according to her needs and comfort, her ability to pay, and the context in which she lives and experiences menstruation.”