Why Some Women Wash Their Sanitary Pads (and Other Findings from our #OneMillionPads Baseline Survey)


The #OneMillionPads program provides menstrual hygiene education and Saathi biodegradable pads to more than a thousand women in rural Jharkhand. In May, our impact assessment partner, 4th Wheel, completed a baseline study of the three villages that will be the epicenter of #OneMillionPads. The study had a number of important findings, the most significant of which are:

  • Most women can access sanitary pads (81.90%) but half do so with great difficulty because the main market is at least a half-days journey(41.03%)
  • Burial is the most common disposal method of used menstrual absorbents (47.63%) followed by disposal in landfill (30.39%)
  • An overwhelming majority of women wash their sanitary pads before disposal because they believe menstrual blood is impure (79.44%)
  • The effect of menstruation on job attendance (65.81%) is significant but it is less acute on school attendance (30.90%). Women report that the absence of toilets in schools and workplaces, largely agricultural fields or construction sites, makes it difficult to change menstrual absorbents.

Through our #OneMillionPads, we hope to give women consistent and easy access to biodegradable sanitary pads, and bust menstrual taboos that have a negative affect on quality of life. Read the full results of our baseline survey in The Better India! Article link: http://www.thebetterindia.com/100336/menstrual-health-management-rural-jharkhand/

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