The issue of safe menstruation management needs to be addressed urgently, especially among poor communities with low resources. Women and girls must have healthy menstrual hygiene options and knowledge.

Each day, an estimated 300 million women and girls #menstruate. An advocate of Women Empowerment, DEF has always initiated conversation around menstrual hygiene across Rural India. In 2019, DEF in collaboration with WASH United conducted training, discussions and activities to raise awareness around Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

A topic of taboo in India, #periodtalk is crucial to help #women manage #menstruation safely and hygienically. This is critical for their health, education, economic development and overall gender equality. The project team became agents of empowerment among village communities through information on maintaining MHM.

#ItIsTimeForAction to encourage the use of sustainable and affordable cotton pads. For the same DEF trained women on cloth pad stitching and ways to market them and earn a living.

The overall aim of this training was to break silence around menstruation which has been a topic of taboo since generations. The training also included men to further raise awareness and de-stigmatize #periodtalk. Further, the DEF training also helped women perceive and talk about managing menstruation positively. There were also discussions on how to make informed choices that cater around health of the woman during menstruation.

As an entrepreneurial initiative, the women decided to call the pads ‘Smartpad’.