Please review major global initiatives which aim to increase the access of women and girls to affordable menstrual hygiene products. Provide brief summaries of different types of approaches and any available information on successes and lessons learnt.
The market for menstrual hygiene products in developing countries is expanding rapidly, driven both by private demand and by public efforts to improve girls’ educational outcomes and women’s health and dignity. However, many women and girls cannot consistently afford the monthly cost of disposable menstrual products and revert to less hygienic solutions when facing cash constraints.
The choice of sanitary protection is a personal decision based on cultural acceptability and user preferences. It is also often influenced by a woman or girl’s environment and access to funds, a water supply and affordable options. It is critical that any programme aiming to support women or girls with sanitary protection materials involves them in the planning discussions and decisions about the materials and/or products to be supported.
Millington, K.A.; Bolton, L. Improving access to menstrual hygiene products (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1280). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 13 pp.