Period poverty is often described as a lack of access to menstrual education and sanitary products. With 800 million women and girls menstruating daily, this is a subject that concerns half the population around the world. However, the issue is particularly prevalent in India where only 42 percent of women have access to sanitary pads.
Menstruation in India is often seen as a shameful conversation. Studies estimate that 71 percent of girls do not know about menstrual health until after their first period. Women are often described as “dirty” while menstruating and are commonly separated in the home when dining, praying, or participating in other activities. Some studies suggest that this is due to gender norms that become more prevalent at puberty. In addition, there is no required curriculum surrounding menstrual health in school.
Exemption from the GST would not create the Protective Hygienic menstruation Environment for Indian Women. More than half percent of women feel shy to talk about periods in public. 60% of the women are engaged in full-time housework. Many helping foundations Mahila Foundation, Sahyog, Pad squad, etc are taking crucial steps to make women aware of their internal hygiene and care about their body.
One of the most important factors for the period poverty in India is the expense of menstrual products. Approximately 70.62 million people in India live in extreme poverty on less than USD1.90 per day. The average Indian woman needs 300 rupees ($4.20) per month for menstrual products. For low-income households, the cost of sanitary pads is often unattainable. Furthermore, Since most adolescents do not have access to toilets at home, girls are more likely to pay for restrooms in public, which is another unaffordable expense.
The menstrual cup is the symbol of the freedom of the modern woman. Although having significant benefits of using a menstrual cup, the use of menstrual cups negligible in India. The menstrual cup market is a very small category in the Indian feminine hygiene market. Initially, tampons were not easily available in India but now they are. Few consolidated players of the menstrual cup in India are ruling the market. These are available on websites like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Nykaa, privy shop, and many smaller websites. Pantyliners market would grow with increasing awareness and spending power of female consumers. Although, it will take more time for the pantyliners market to develop and be recognized as valuable products.
To overcome and make the environment eco-friendly the ray of hope menstrual cup came into the market in 2011. As per Actual Market Research report title ”India Feminine Hygiene market,2026” the menstrual cup market is going to grow with a CAGR of more than 20% for the upcoming forecasted period. The environmental impact of a menstrual cup is less than 1.5% of the impact of tampons or pads. Many women from rural areas cannot afford to buy period products and use cloth rags to absorb their menstrual blood. This causes discomfort, infections, and social shame associated with leaking and smell. Girls and women using cups anywhere in the world – in school, field, home, or office – can concentrate more. They are more likely to attend school and more productive for their families and economies. A cup saves one from period hassles, rashes, skin infection, leakage and allows physical activity, and can last for years together, decreasing waste creation. This translates into improved menstrual health and lowers waste creation.