ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Menstrual Management and Low-cost Sanitary Napkins

The provision of low-cost sanitary napkins to women in rural areas is not an answer to the myriad problems they face in menstrual management. Apart from the need for a mechanism for ensuring the quality of the products and reducing the environmental cost of non-reusable products, the need is for a change in the attitude towards menstruation. It is because this is a taboo topic ruled by religio-cultural conventions that rural women face not only discomfort but also problems linked to reproductive health.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a subject of deep concern in most developing countries, where women, especially rural women, face challenges in acquiring hygienic absorbents, clean water for washing and a private space for changing. Every month they are forced to opt for unhygienic ways to catch the flow and hide signs of menstruation, without caring for their own health and well-being.

With the advent of low-cost sanitary napkin-making technology, there is a cornucopia of governmental and non-governmental schemes and policies on procuring, producing and promoting the sale of these products. Known as the “menstrual man,” Arunachalam Muruganantham revolutionised feminine hygiene by designing a machine to make low-cost sanitary napkins and successfully marketing these napkins to rural women across the country. These pads are manufactured using wood pulp, thermo bonded non-woven fabric, polyethylene sheet, glue and release paper, and sold at an affordable price (

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