Making periods normal

Making periods normal

Women in India are entitled to having normal periods. ‘Making periods normal´ is a new program by Simavi, Rutgers WPF and Women on Wings.

During the ‘Goed Geld Gala 2014’ held on Tuesday evening, February 4, the Dutch National Postcode Lottery awarded an Extra Draw to Simavi, Rutgers WPF and Women on Wings. This support will be used by the organizations to improve the situation in India regarding menstruation. The program ‘Making periods normal’ has a duration of three years.

Excluded during periods
In India, many girls and women are unable to take part in public activities each month on account of their menstruation. As a result, girls go to school three weeks a month instead of four. This causes them to fall further behind in their studies, with many girls eventually dropping out of school. Menstruation makes women feel uncomfortable every month for 30 years. In addition, hygienic products like sanitary pads are only available in rural villages in limited quantities.

Business model
Based on its research and experience in India, Women on Wings has developed a business model with a view to distributing sanitary pads at local level and in doing so creating jobs. Simavi and Rutgers WPF have considerable experience of bringing taboo subjects out into the open and providing information on physical development and personal hygiene. Good information creates awareness and breaks down taboos. In this way, creating demand and making available a hygienic solution go hand in hand.

An integrated approach
The main focus of the approach is to provide information and share knowledge. Additionally, the three organizations ensure that sanitary pads can be accessed locally. By combining a strong awareness campaign with local employment in making pads available an optimum solution is brought. Bij setting up a local distribution network, sanitary pads will be made available to 165,000 women and girls. The program also provides employment for 815 women.

Also in the Netherlands
Thanks to the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, we can also draw attention to this problem in the Netherlands. Our aim is to make women in the Netherlands aware of the mental, social and medical consequences that arise when women in India are excluded from what we consider to be normal everyday activities just because of their menstruation. This campaign will be launched in 2015.

“Through this partnership with Women on Wings, we want to enable more women to earn their own income that will give them greater financial means to improve their livelihoods. Economic independence for women means more children can go to school, more meals per day for their families and communities, and an overall better standard of living for them and future generations”

Ilan Vuddumalay
C&A Foundation