We are well into the 21st century, and yet 50% of women and girls in developing countries, including India, cannot afford basic sanitary products to manage their periods, and rely on unhygienic practices such as old rags, sand and ash.
Together with limited knowledge and limited sanitary facilities, this leads to serious health risks, such as reproductive and urinary tract infections. It also prevents women and girls from participating in essential daily activities, such as going to school and going to work. It’s estimated that every year, 23 million girls in India drop out school upon reaching puberty.
We are here today for the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, to discuss how we can solve the challenge of period poverty to unlock gender equality, environmental sustainability and growth.
In this conversation you will hear from two women with expertise in the menstrual hygiene space, Ira Guha and Dr. Mariana Lopez. Ira is the founder of Asan, which is a social enterprise with a mission to eradicate period poverty and avert sanitary waste. Asan has designed an innovative menstrual cup, which is a reusable menstrual product. For every cup they sell, they donate one for free to a woman or girl who cannot afford period products.