WOMEN’S HYGIENE PROGRAM

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BACKGROUND

 One of Mudfish No Plastic’s outreach programs is the providing of workshops and practical solutions to educate and empower Indonesian women about health issues regarding feminine hygiene.

The workshops motivate the women to “say no to single-use plastics” and to make environmentally better choices by the use of reusable menstrual pads and diapers. Billions of single-use sanitary napkins end up in the trash. For this reason, it is necessary to create a common awareness to reduce or eliminate single-use sanitary napkins. In its manufacture, absorbent materials are used that contain chemicals that are very harmful to the body and the environment, such as dioxins, bleach, fragrances, and plastic compounds. According to data from Biyung Indonesia, there are around 70 million women who are experiencing active menstruation. If we assume that everyone uses 20 sanitary pads every month, 1.4 billion single-use sanitary napkins will end up in the trash. Of that number, there are 16.8 billion sanitary napkins in a year.

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THE PROBLEM

 There are 2 factors that influence a woman’s decision on whether to use disposable diapers or sanitary napkins – cultural norms and financial considerations.  Any program in Indonesia that involves Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) must deal with the fact that in many cultures and communities, menstruation is perceived as a taboo thing to talk about because it is perceived negatively, as embarrassing, unhygienic, or as a form of sickness. Such misconceptions, and lack of information, cause many women and girls to have improper knowledge regarding menstruation, and thus negatively affect their behavior regarding the use of disposable diapers and sanitary napkins and the way they dispose of them after use. And since the majority of Indonesians are less fortunate financially, the fact that reusable diapers and diapers carry a higher initial investment than reusable diapers.

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OUR SOLUTION

 There are 2 factors that influence a woman’s decision on whether to use disposable diapers or sanitary napkins – cultural norms and financial considerations.  Any program in Indonesia that involves Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) must deal with the fact that in many cultures and communities, menstruation is perceived as a taboo thing to talk about because it is perceived negatively, as embarrassing, unhygienic, or as a form of sickness. Such misconceptions, and lack of information, cause many women and girls to have improper knowledge regarding menstruation, and thus negatively affect their behavior regarding the use of disposable diapers and sanitary napkins and the way they dispose of them after use. And since the majority of Indonesians are less fortunate financially, the fact that reusable diapers and diapers carry a higher initial investment than reusable diapers.