Holistic approaches to MHM
Introduction: The “wicked problem” of Menstrual Hygiene Management
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) impacts not just the 355 million menstruating women in India, but society at large. This one complex issue touches upon many of India’s developmental challenges and violates legal and constitutional rights. While activists, public health directors, and development workers have sought to manage the issue, none of them have sought to address menstrual hygiene management through a holistic perspective. They each offer a piecemeal solution to the challenge, ignoring the negative externalities of their solution on the environment and on society. earth&us, in partnership with other organizations, is engaged in an action-oriented social and technological research project to ensure that all women have access to safe, ethical, affordable and eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products. Read more . . .
2015 campaign on menstrual hygiene waste and alternatives:The Kachara Project in Delhi and earth&us have joined forces to launch a 5-week campaign designed to create public awareness and bring about strategic shifts in responsibly dealing with menstrual hygiene waste. The campaign also explores reusable products and other options that are Safe, Hygienic, and Ethical. The campaign will be launched on April 22, 2015 (Earth Day) and conclude on May 28 (Menstrual Hygiene Day). Spread the word. For more details click here!
Creating awareness through articles and documentary movies
Article: Disposable pads, disposable lives
Worldwide disposable sanitary napkins flushed down toilets cause huge problems as they clog up sewers. Most sewerage systems, being designed before the advent of disposable napkins, are meant to carry only water and excreta. Besides the huge costs in maintenance of sewerage systems worldwide, in India the problem is exacerbated by the fact that, in contravention to existing laws, conservancy workers, with no protection whatsoever, have to go down the manholes to manually clean the blockages. Ecofemme, a manufacturer of reusable sanitary pads in Auroville, recently met with conservancy workers in Chennai and learnt about the devastating social impact of disposable pads. Read more . . .
Film: Masika: Check out the movie on the right on our homepage
Masika is a documentary that informs women in India about the environmental and social impact of disposable sanitary napkins and suggests other alternatives such as menstrual cups and cloth pads. The film has evolved out of the work of Ecofemme and earth&us.
Enabling collaborative action for maximizing impact
earth&us identifies key stakeholders in India working in the field of MHM from the perspective of promoting social and environmental justice. It actively networks to enable strategic alliances among such organizations to promote Safe, Hygienic, Ethical MHM in India.
Hosting symposiums or campaigns annually: earth&us plans to host a national symposium each year for the next 5 years to come up with clear guidelines for advocating safe, hygienic, and ethical menstrual hygiene products. At these events, key stakeholders listed below will be invited to discuss the challenges in this sector, and seek to lay a clear road-map with annual measurable outcomes to achieve our aim.
Creating a collaborative platform: Key organizations brought together by earth&us at the 2014 symposium on sanitary waste have formed a consortium to share resources and promote Safe, Hygienic, Ethical MHM practices. Write us for more info on this.
Research projects: earth&us collaborates with one or more organizations on the SHE MHM consortium to undertake research projects to better understand around disposal of sanitary waste and use of eco-friendly products in the rural and urban sector.
2014 Symposium on sanitary waste and alternatives: earth&us co-hosted a workshop with TATA MIT Center, SWaCH, and KKPKP on disposal and reduction of sanitary napkin and diaper waste. An estimated 70 participants participated in a 2.5 day workshop from Aug 18-20, 2014 at Pune. This peer-based workshop was an inspiring experience for all. Read the report on our workshop on sanitary waste and the Press reports.
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