Sukhibhava Foundation #ThatTimeOfTheMonth

The Issue:
Universally, women and adolescent girls experience menstruation. Commencement of menstruation is the sign of healthy adolescence, yet it is predominantly considered shameful, indicating implicitly that it is impure, unpleasant and has to be dealt with secretively.In India, menstruation has been shrouded in myths and taboos, directly resulting in lack of awareness and issues of accessibility and affordability.
Most times, women discover and adapt to menstruation on their own, without sufficient information on their menstrual cycle, bodily changes, reproductive health and hygienic practices. The lack of understanding and awareness among women perpetuates questionable cultural practices, resulting in psychological, physical and social ramifications. In India, (insert statistic) adolescent girls drop out of school due to menstruation.Many women use easily accessible materials such as rags, sawdust, ash, leaves, grass, cow dung cakes or newspapers to see through their periods. While these are available at no cost, they are uncomfortable, unhygienic and can lead to serious infections. In India, 300 million women do not have access to proper menstrual hygiene practices.

There is very little research and data on menstrual hygiene in India, which depicts how little we have done to ensure a safe period for a woman in this country. Based on limited available data, only one in 12 women have adopted menstrual products like sanitary pads till date; affordability being one of the primary inhibiting factors.A heavy “luxury tax” on sanitary products in India implies how our policies are skewed in terms of ensuring affordability of an essential need that is sanitary products.

What we do?
Sukhibhava is a social enterprise working with marginalised women and adolescent girls, to empower them through awareness and improved access to healthy menstrual practices.
We believe that women should take ownership of their menstrual health and hygiene by understanding their body and making informed choices.
Sukhibhava has so far worked with around 17,000+ women and adolescent girls in India, thus, successfully creating awareness about menstrual hygiene and ensuring doorstep accessibility at a low cost.We are constantly striving towards accessibility and distribution of eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products, keeping in mind the sustainability factor and women’s health. This is in collaboration with innovative organisations who have similar ethos, manufacturing bio-degradable sanitary napkins, menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads. However, we acknowledge that the burden of being eco-friendly or sustainable should not fall on women who are struggling to access basic menstrual hygiene.

How we do it?
Creating awareness among women in urban slums, rural communities and schools and addressing myths and taboos. 
We facilitate training for a set of women at Sukhibhava, who then become trainers for local communities in their vicinity. They engage in interactive learning processes with women and adolescent girls from low-income backgrounds. These awareness sessions comprise activities and modules that empower a woman through knowledge of her body, menstrual hygiene and safety, while urging her to question myths and taboos related to menstruation and gender.
The trainers form groups of women among these communities and facilitate awareness sessions over a period of five months. This is to ensure that the information is being delivered to limited numbers at a given point, to keep it more focussed. Each session engages with an important subject - a woman’s body, menstruation and puberty, menstrual hygiene, products and safe disposal of these products, myths and taboos.

Ensuring accessibility and affordability:
We, at Sukhibhava, believe that women should be able to decide for themselves what product they want to use. This, based on their cultural norms, affordability, comfort, ease and other suitable factors.
Sukhibhava has initiated a micro-entrepreneurial model, wherein local women will make available for women, a range of menstrual products, at their doorstep. The micro-entrepreneurs not only distribute products in communities we are working with, but also go beyond these borders to make it accessible to as many women as possible at their doorstep.
We are determined to encourage the use of sustainable menstrual hygiene products like bio-degradable napkins, reusable cloth pads and menstrual cups. However, it is solely a woman’s decision to buy what she wants to, depending on her context.

We are on a mission to reach one million women by 2020.
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8th September 2017
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your continued support!

With your support are able to educate 400 additional girls about adolescent and give access to biodegradable sanitary pads and reusable cloth pad kits.

Thank you once again. Would request you to please share this campaign further.

Regards,
Team Sukhibhava

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Supporters (51)

Akshat
Akshat donated $250

All the best team. Keep up the good work! 😊

A
Anonymous donated $25
A
Anonymous donated $25
M
Mohina donated Rs.1,000

Keep up the great work! The world needs more of this :)

A
Anonymous donated Rs.1,000
SP
Sunita donated $100

Hi, great job. I would love to receive updates on the activities and projects. Please sign me up for the newsletter if there is one. Regards Sunita