Empowering women through increasing access to sustainable menstrual hygiene products

By auther pic. CSRBOX

June 19, 2023

Empowering women through increasing access to sustainable menstrual hygiene products

Relief Pad

Menstrual hygiene is a critical issue in rural India, where access to affordable and sustainable menstrual hygiene products is limited. In rural areas of India, where resources are scarce, many women and girls face challenges in managing their menstruation. Lack of awareness, affordability, and accessibility to menstrual products often result in unhygienic practices and health issues. Additionally, cultural taboos and stigmas surrounding menstruation further exacerbate the problem.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 global goals adopted by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030. Menstrual hygiene is directly linked to several SDGs, particularly:

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being: Access to safe and hygienic menstrual hygiene management is crucial for maintaining good health and well-being. It includes ensuring access to affordable and quality menstrual products, proper sanitation facilities, and comprehensive education on menstrual health.

SDG 4: Quality Education: Lack of access to menstrual hygiene products and inadequate sanitation facilities can lead to school absenteeism among girls during their periods. Ensuring proper menstrual hygiene management in schools can help girls stay in school and receive a quality education.

SDG 5: Gender Equality: Menstrual hygiene is a gender equality issue as it affects the rights and dignity of women and girls. Promoting menstrual health and providing access to affordable and sustainable menstrual products contributes to empowering women and girls and reducing gender inequalities.

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation: Menstrual hygiene requires access to clean water for washing reusable menstrual products and maintaining personal hygiene. It is essential to ensure that sanitation facilities have clean water and proper disposal systems to support menstrual hygiene management.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production: Promoting the use of sustainable menstrual hygiene products like cloth pads aligns with the goal of responsible consumption and production. Reusable products reduce waste and the environmental impact associated with disposable menstrual products.

SDG 13: Climate Action: The production, use, and disposal of disposable menstrual products contribute to waste and environmental pollution. Encouraging the use of eco-friendly alternatives like cloth pads can contribute to climate action by reducing waste and resource consumption.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: Addressing menstrual hygiene requires collaboration between governments, civil society organizations, private sectors, and communities. Partnerships are crucial to promoting awareness, providing access to menstrual hygiene products, and improving infrastructure and policies related to menstrual health.

By integrating menstrual hygiene management into the broader framework of the SDGs, efforts can be coordinated and resources mobilized to ensure that women and girls have access to safe, affordable, and sustainable menstrual hygiene products and services. This, in turn, contributes to achieving multiple SDGs and advancing sustainable development.

A project dedicated to supporting women in Bareilly who are involved in mint oil farming took place in partnership with The Go Girl Foundation, Dr Bronner's Europe, and Creation Biotech India.

These women shared their concerns about menstrual hygiene and other reproductive health issues, as they work long hours in the fields and use old pieces of cloth during their menstrual cycle. Wearing the same fabric for an extended period can cause severe infections, such as vaginosis or Staphylococcus Aureus, which are very dangerous.

To tackle these issues, a team of experts, including a gynaecologist, was formed, who had a conversation with the women about menstrual hygiene and distributed reusable sanitary pads by ReliefPad among 8,000 beneficiaries. These pads are made of high-quality materials and have an antimicrobial property that enables women to wear them for 8-10 hours safely.

The reusable sanitary pads by ReliefPad are also designed to be easy to clean and can be used for up to 18 months. After using the pads for three months, the women provided feedback, and they were delighted with the pads' positive impact on their hygiene and health.

They expressed feeling more comfortable and confident during their menstrual cycle, which allowed them to perform their daily activities with greater ease. The project had a significant impact on their lives and the lives of their families, and they were incredibly grateful.

The reusable sanitary pads by ReliefPad were distributed again to the same women as they needed to dispose of their previous pads after 18 months and wanted to continue using them. This distribution brought immense relief to the women as they now had pads that would last for 18 months, and they didn't have to worry about running out of sanitary pads or waiting for distributors to visit them every month.


The project covered the geography of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, and had a significant impact on the lives of 8,000 women who were empowered to take control of their reproductive health and well-being.

Also Read: BYJU’S Education For All: Educating India’s Future, One Underserved Student at a Time


CSRBOX.org is Asia's largest CSR platform with an in-depth CSR portfolio of over 1050 companies and 10000+ CSR projects. The platform works as a bridge between the development sector, and business community, government agencies and academic institutes to bring together opportunities on one platform and create a knowledge base for thematic interventions. A few of our clients are UNICEF India, IBM, BOSCH Ltd, HCL Foundation, Genpact, Diageo, Bajaj Foundation etc.We have projects, platforms and partnerships (3Ps) based approach for social impact in India


Suggest a Story: If you have similar story to refer, please fill in the form