Embracing Hygienic Menstrual Practices in Nepal - Making Reusable Sanitary Pads

Australian Red Cross (ARC) | Jenni_Lillingston from Australian Red Cross (ARC) Nepal, on 28/08/2017 13:27 EST

Sirjana Snehi is a young woman in Bajhang, Nepal. Women’s menstrual hygiene is not commonly discussed in Sirjana’s community, due to cultural taboos and knowledge gaps. Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is being supported by the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in communities participating in Sanitation Hygiene and Water Management Project (SHWMP) funded through CS-WASH. MHM training days for women who regularly attend health education classes are being provided to increase knowledge of hygienic menstrual practices and to provide practical skills around making reusable sanitary products. In the past, women have generally used old cloth, paper or in some case nothing when menstruating.

As a result of this training Sirjana notes that “I have made sanitary reusable pads from cloths, and I have been able to use them for selling”.   To make the reusable pads Sirjana needs items which she has purchased from her local market. “First I measure and cut the cloth and make the correct size and shape for the reusable pads, then I stitch the pad together. Once it has definitive form, I attach velcro to hold the pad in the correct position. It is then a pad holder, and it needs cloth inside. The size of the cloth can be increased or decreased depending on the person, and their needs." she explained.

Since participating in the WASH seminars, Sirjana has been busy developing more reusable sanitary pads, and plans to sell them in her community to help others achieve more hygienic menstrual practices. Sirjana is also using her new knowledge to train others. This has given more women the opportunity to increase their knowledge around menstrual health care.