Empowering girls: access to menstrual products
Amsterdam, 11 October 2023 – On International Day of the Girl Child we celebrate the incredible potential, strength, and resilience of girls worldwide. It's also a day to draw attention to the challenges they face, including the often-overlooked issue of menstruation where many taboos hold girls back while there is a lack in access to menstrual products. Menstruation is a natural part of life, but the lack of access to menstrual products can create significant barriers to education and overall well-being for girls. According to UNESCO, 1 in 10 girls in Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle, and some even drop out entirely due to a lack of menstrual products. This is not only a challenge for girls' education but also a human rights issue.
Access to menstrual products
Last year, on International Women’s Day we launched our partnership with Aakar Innovations. Through this partnership we are supplying the Anandi pad, in three different sizes to suit everyone’s specific needs. The Anandi pad is almost fully compostable, and free of any toxic additives. Each Anandi pad is produced in a ‘women supervised’ and ‘women employed’ mini-factory, Providing local job opportunities for women, while teaching them entrepreneurial and marketing skills. This partnership is in line with our three long-term goals being Universal Health Coverage, as we believe that those who need it should have access to safe menstrual products, working with a partner that offers job opportunities for local women adds to Strengthened Local Capacity, and as the Anandi pad is compostable and eco-certified it doesn’t have an added negative impact on the environment, in line with our goal of building Sustainable Value Chains.
For the launch of this partnership, we made a video about the Anandi pads. Watch the video here, or on our YouTube channel. The Anandi pad is part of our reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health portfolio, more information about this product and other products in that range, can be found on our RMNCH page.
Empowering girls and ensuring their access to menstrual products is a critical step toward gender equality (SDG5), as we are committed to contribute to this goal. It's a step toward breaking down the stigmas associated with menstruation and fostering an environment where girls can reach their full potential.
Let's work together to create a world where every girl can thrive without the burden of period poverty.