A Period Friendly World: A Dream?

A Period Friendly World: A Dream?

We live in a world where about 2 billion people menstruate. That is a lot of people! So many family members, friends, spouses, siblings, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers. This year, the theme for Menstrual Hygiene Day is #PeriodFriendlyWorld. On a planet where one-fourth of its inhabitants get their periods every month, wouldn’t it be great if everyone was better able to accommodate their needs?

Imagine a world where getting your period isn't a source of limitation, but a natural experience freely managed with comfort and dignity. We already discussed the obstacles to a period-friendly world in our previous blog, which you can check out here. So now….

What does a Period-Friendly World look like? 

Let us imagine together! 


  • Imagine a world where pads aren’t hidden in secret pockets or in a purse, and could be openly bought and shared. 
  • A world where the word period doesn’t elicit immediate hush-hush and is rather treated as a biological process like any other.
  • A world where menstruation is not shrouded in superstitions and taboo but is normalized and celebrated as a normal part of life. 
  • A world where a period doesn’t make anyone untidy, or warrant not working or not socializing. 
  • A world where menstruation is treated like its supposed to be - normally.
Proper education
  • Imagine a world where menstruation is taught mandatorily and clearly to all students - no matter what the gender.
  • Imagine a world where pink tax wouldn’t be a thing.
  • A world where governments support access to period products and help make them available to everyone.
  • A world where the ill-effects associated with periods are acknowledged and necessary accommodations are done to meet menstruators’ comfort and needs such as having painkillers, hot water bags, and such are kept handy for cramp relief.
  • A world where period products are available in public places such as having free pad dispensers in public places like schools, offices and large events.
Better infrastructure
  • Imagine a world where individuals have clean toilets, abundance of water and other hygiene products to manage their periods. 
  • Imagine a world where one can choose whichever period product they want and not be met with disapproval or disagreement, because it is their own choice and their own body! Check our our post on Instagram about choice.

While all of these thoughts and imaginations seem right and duly justified, the current reality is unfortunately far from this. In the previous blog titled ‘10 Years On: Why Menstrual Hygiene Management Still Matters, we already discussed the plethora of issues so many menstruators currently face. Some menstruators don’t even have access to basic disposable pads, or proper cloth pads; or even proper running water and clean toilets to take care of themselves.

How can a person make a choice, when even the basics aren’t fulfilled? The same issues stand with the lack of education regarding menstruation among rural and urban population alike. Misconceptions about periods, with taboos and superstitions still run rampant. So a period friendly world may be too much of a dream…

…Or is it? 

A Glimpse into a Period Friendly World

What if the period friendly world isn’t as unattainable of a concept as we think it is? What if the ideal is much closer than we think? Let us have a look into some instances and glimpse into a period friendly future.

Innovation Leads the Way

Many institutions and companies are on the way to making periods more sustainable and easier to manage. Now single-use plastic pads aren’t the norm, and a lot of options such as biodegradable pads (check out the banana fiber pads), menstrual cups (like our Saathi menstrual cups), period panties, and cloth pads are much more easily available and even competitively priced. So, not only are there more choices available but they are also eco-friendly and sustainable. On top of that, more access, and information to understanding menstrual hygiene products such as cups (here’s our nifty guide on how to use a menstrual cup) are easily available!

Policy Takes a Stand

While policy changes can take time to pass and also to implement, some countries are leading the charge. Scotland passed a bill in 2021 titled ‘Period Products (Free Provision)’ which places duties on local authorities and education providers to make period products obtainable free of charge for anyone who needs to use them. This ensures that any menstruator can obtain menstrual products, free of charge, whenever they want - and this change is on a national level. Another amazing policy change was when schools in Waikato, New Zealand were given free period products since 2021 as a way to combat period poverty, with a government investment of $2.6 million. 

Open Communication: Breaking the Silence

Many educational portals, brands, companies, and creators have started to make evidence-based educational material about menstruation that is free to access online. But for those who aren’t just typical learners from books or videos, there are also workshops, quizzes, interactive sessions and even memes to spark the conversation about menstruation and dismantle taboos. A great example of this are the Red Tent Movements, that started in Los Angeles and are now practiced all over the globe! These are rooms or safe spaces where women gather together and talk about everything from menstruation to their personal problems, thus fostering open communication. Media also plays a very important role where even children’s movies such as ‘Turning Red’ and the ‘Baymax’ series, talk about menstruation in a way that is understandable to younger people and is still fun to watch!

A Ripple Effect: Community Action in Motion

Raising awareness and advocating for change isn’t limited to online platforms

  1. Large-scale events such as Women Deliver 2023, which hosted over 6000 people, had Saathi’s biodegradable menstrual products available on-site in all the bathrooms at the Kigali Convention Center and at Saathi’s booth. This demonstrated what it would be like for a large global conference to have access to menstrual products throughout the venue. So many attendees came to say they just got their period all of a sudden and were so glad to have access to the products on site. Check out this video of our impact at Women Deliver!
  2. We have spoken on numerous global stages to raise awareness about period poverty including at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and at the New York Times Climate Hub at COP26. Our work has also been featured at the new MIT Museum in the Essential MIT exhibit
  3. We have brought talks about menstruation to unexpected places as well. We presented at Hello Tomorrow, one of the largest Deep Tech Summits in Europe, and won the grand prize in Paris in 2017! We also presented at the Lakme Fashion Show in Mumbai in 2019. These institutions gave space and priority to these conversations which triggered a chain reaction to positive improvement and change.
  4. We have had a chance to impact policy leaders by presenting at events such as the Commission on Status of Women, The Global Conference of Decent Jobs for Youth side event hosted by the UNFPA and JPAL, the UNDP Building Bridges event and more. We’re working towards improving access to and awareness of issues across the Sexual and Reproductive Health realm.

The road to a period-friendly world might seem long, but the menstrual movement is already a powerful force for change. Each conversation, each policy change, each innovation brings us closer to a reality where periods are simply a biological fact, not a barrier to opportunity or well-being.

Beyond the Dream: How can we create a Period-Friendly World?

A period friendly world is a huge goal, but there are a lot of things we can do on an individual and community level to reach this goal. Let us have a look at all the possibilities …

  • Talk openly
  • Most of the taboos and superstitions surrounding menstruation stem from the lack of open conversation and dialogue about periods. The more we talk about it, the more it gets normalized. 

  • Read and research about the issues in your community
  • It helps massively to research the issues surrounding sanitation, hygiene and menstruation in and around the area you live in, and see how you can help. But even just researching and sharing your insights will shed more light on these issues that are rather hidden, and thus cause the right institutions to act on them.

  • Read and research about menstruation and the lesser known issues
  • If you learn more about periods and the other reasons behind why things like cramps and other issues may occur you will be better informed and able to discuss these issues with your medical professional 

  • Read and research about the products you use
  • You may have heard that regular sanitary pads are full of single-use plastic. You may be wondering how you can not only pick a good menstrual product but also a sustainable one as well. 

  • Educate yourself and then others
  • Before educating younger people around you, it is important to educate yourself first. Using the multiple resources available online and in books may be the best way to learn and understand. Also if you understand and identify that someone around you is having an issue, redirect them to a medical professional.

    One good way to begin educating yourself about menstruation is to refer to our Science with Saathi series, which covers everything from the basics of menstruation to more specific things like PCOS and ovarian cancer. There are 3 parts to this series! You can start with our Science with Saathi - Compilation Part 1 here.

    Building a Period-Friendly Future, Together

    So maybe the end goal isn’t too far away, provided we keep persevering on our path. Our future generations deserve to live in a period friendly world. A world where one isn’t limited by a normal biological process. A world where one doesn’t have to compromise on their comfort, health, and hygiene. And a world where a menstruator can proudly menstruate and exist in their own universe, happily. 

    We all have a role to play.  Educate yourself, speak openly, support organizations breaking down stigmas, and advocate for policies that prioritize menstrual health. Let us join hands, educate, talk, discuss, and make periods normal, safe, and happy! Together, let's create a world where every menstruator can live their life with confidence, comfort, and dignity. Comment down below what do you think about the ways we can create a #PeriodFriendlyWorld! 

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