For the first time since Independence, India’s urban population has registered a higher increase than the rural population. Increasing urbanbiased economic activity and job creation are leading to rapid urbanisation, and a greater number of poor people today are living in cities and towns in India. Slums, often the residence of migrants and urban poor, are underserved areas with poor housing, insufficient living space, basic infrastructure and services such as clean drinking water, drainage and electricity, and poor access to toilets and sanitation services. Urban poverty and life in slums significantly compromise the ability of women and girls to effectively manage menstruation. There are many factors that affect how women manage their monthly period, such as the lack of information and awareness on menstruation, unaffordability of menstrual products, poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and services, lack of privacy, safety and security. This article seeks to highlight the challenges faced in managing menstruation in the context of a slum/poor urban settlement and the need for a convergent and comprehensive approach involving key stakeholders including communities, civil society and government departments to ensure gender-sensitive, menstrual hygiene management-centric interventions .
Our mission is to raise awareness on gender issues and bring it out in the open. Through our programs, we teach young girls that their menstrual cycles are natural, a sign of good reproductive health and is something they have in common with girls in countries worldwide!
Furthermore, we hold sessions with the mothers of the girls to bring the topic of menstruation out into the open, allow them to ask questions and look at menstruation for the natural and healthy process it is.
Through our programs, we aim to improve the health and the quality of life for girls and women across the country and we need your support to reach 30,000 girls with sanitary products this year.