In recent years, there has been a growing movement of women around the world who are choosing to switch to reusable menstrual products, such as cloth pads and menstrual cups. However, in India, the majority of women still prefer to use disposable sanitary napkins.
There are a number of reasons why Indian women hesitate to make the switch to reusable products, including lack of information, social taboos, and concerns about hygiene.
In this blog post, we will explore some of these reasons in more depth and offer solutions on how to overcome them.
The current state of menstrual hygiene in India
In India, menstrual hygiene is a pressing issue. Women face many challenges when it comes to managing their period, from a lack of access to sanitary products and clean water to taboos and stigmas around menstruation.
Despite the challenges, there are some women who are championing the use of reusable menstrual products in India. They believe that these products are more hygienic and sustainable than disposable options.
They are working to break down the taboos around menstruation and raise awareness about the benefits of reusable menstrual products.
The barriers to adopting reusable menstrual products
There are several barriers to adopting reusable menstrual products in India. One is the lack of awareness about these products. Most women in India are not familiar with reusable menstrual products and do not know how to use them. There is also a lack of education on menstrual hygiene in general, which means that many women are unaware of the benefits of using reusable menstrual products.
Another barrier is the cost of these products. Reusable menstrual products can be more expensive than disposable ones, and many women in India cannot afford to purchase them.
Additionally, there is a lack of access to these products in rural areas, where most women live.
Finally, there is a social stigma attached to menstruation in India that makes many women hesitate to switch to reusable menstrual products. Many believe that using these products is unclean or unnatural, so they are reluctant to use them.
The benefits of reusable menstrual products
There are many reasons like cost factors, accessibility, etc why women in India might hesitate to switch to reusable menstrual products, but there are also many benefits that make them worth considering.
1. Reusable menstrual products can save you money in the long run.
1 menstrual cup = Avg cost Rs. 500
Can be used for at least 2 years
Total cost = Rs. 500
Disposable pads for one menstrual cycle = Rs. 15 * 10 = Rs. 150
150 * 12 * 2 = Rs. 3,600 (considering the menstrual cycle is regular)
Total cost for 2 years = Rs. 3,600
Total savings = Rs. 3600 - Rs. 500 = Rs. 3100
2. They can also be more comfortable and less likely to cause infections than disposable products.
3. Additionally, they're better for the environment since they don't require as many resources to produce and make heaps of waste for years when disposed of.
How to overcome the barriers to adoption
One of the biggest barriers to the adoption of reusable menstrual products is a lack of awareness. Most women in India are not aware of the existence of these products, let alone the fact that they can be a more sustainable and economical option than disposable pads.
One way to overcome these barriers is through education and awareness-raising campaigns.
It is important for women to know that there are alternative options available to them and that these options can provide significant benefits. Increasing access to reusable menstrual products is also critical, whether through government initiatives or private sector initiatives.
And finally, it is important to work to change social norms and stigma around menstruation, so that women feel more comfortable and empowered to use the products that work best for them.
There are many reasons why women in India might hesitate to switch to reusable menstrual products.
Hopefully, with more education and exposure, more women in India will make the switch to reusable menstrual products in the coming years.