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Aakar built a campaign to escalate the menstrual taboo in India

Author:   Date:2014-12-01  From:  Hits:1433

There are 312 million women in India who do not have access to hygienic and effective menstrual protection. Yes, that is 9 out of 10 women in India who are constrained by their own bodies every single month. As a result, women resort to damaging improvisations such as dirty rags or old leaves, which can eventually lead to irreparable health problems and diminished self-worth.

One of the most profound implications of these practices is that adolescent girls often skip 1 week of school every month, which over time, forces them to drop out of school completely because they can’t keep up. 1 out of 4 girls drop out of school when they reach puberty. That’s a quarter of the next generation of women in India!

So, Aakar needs to do even more. Without addressing the subtle, veiled cultural stigmas associated with menstruation, Aakar, as an organization, cannot reach out to the women unable to participate fully in society. To address this challenge, Aakar is in the process of building a training program for women to go out into their own communities and spread awareness about reproductive health. This means a significant amount must be invested so that Aakar can create engaging programs that teach rural women and girls about menstrual hygiene through a comprehensive, interactive curriculum that includes games, plays, videos, etc.

 

The second component of Aakar Social Ventures will be to train women as village entrepreneurs (affectionately called “Anandi Ben,”) who sell & distribute menstrual hygiene products to the doorsteps of girls and women in surrounding villages. In turn, the localized entrepreneurs become advocates for reproductive health within their existing social circles that other women and girls know they can trust.

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