HER ADHIKAAR FOUNDATION – Inter-sectional feminist organization re-envisioning policies for impactful community engagement
As an intersectional feminist organization, Her Adhikaar seeks to bridge the implementational lacunae in pre-existing frameworks and welfare legislation that impact women, people from other gender minorities and children, through grassroots initiatives and community-based programs, that increase accessibility and allow for greater awareness amongst all. Our work shall focus on providing education, awareness and accessible resources about sexual and reproductive health rights.
We aim to create a safe and inclusive space that thrives on community empowerment, sustainability and fulfilment of rights of bodily autonomy and dignity to women and other gender minorities. With an emphasis on feminist leadership, Her Adhikaar seeks to empower women to be at the forefront of a holistic and sustainable change.
With sustainable change and dignity at the forefront, Her Adhikaar Foundation decided to contribute to the prevention of a sustainable, bias-free and accessible menstrual awareness programme. We chose to do the same because during our research the following numbers stunned the HAF team;
- 23 Million women drop out of school every year when they start menstruating in India.
- Over 200 million women in India are ignorant of safe menstrual hygiene practices and what constitutes a normal and healthy period. Poor menstrual practices have serious detrimental effects on education and health outcomes for girls and women.
- 71% of girls report having no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. For most, it is a terrifying experience compounded by taboos that often restrict them.
Therefore the programme was a way to introduce people (especially menstruators) to the facts behind the process rather than harmful myths.
In order to ensure that sustainable practices were introduced and promoted, HAF highlighted sustainable menstrual products of varied types and how to access and use them.
When we introduced the programme in low-income areas we realized that a lot of menstruators from the same were using harmful products like e-waste cloths, rags, leaves and ash while menstruating, due to the cost of conventional non-biodegradable plastic pads.
Therefore, we realized that in order to make the programme truly impactful and accessible, we had to introduce ways to tackle the product accessibility gap and fill it ourselves. This was how a period culminated into a separate sub-programme under Periods Aur Adhikaar (the flagship menstrual awareness programme).
Therefore, with the aim of ensuring access to sustainable period products, we at Her Adhikaar Foundation are trying to break this cycle, one period at a time! We decided to obtain long-lasting reusable cloth pads from various grass-roots oriented vendors (other non-profits, women’s self-help groups etc) and distribute the same in various areas pan-India where the issue of accessibility arises.
We decided to go ahead with fundraising as a means of covering expenses since it not only made other people aware of the true extent of facts but also allowed our organization which is not even a year old to have a far wider impact.
The cost of your last Starbucks is equivalent to a woman getting access to safe and sustainable cloth pads that can last them up to 3-4 years and thus minimize the risk of disorders and diseases.
A set of three cloth pads can help women get through each cycle and cost only Rs. 200/-, we can help over 500 women access these pads!
We ask you now Will you join us to promise women a safe period experience and end period poverty?
Checkout more such content at: https://gogomagazine.in/category/lifestyle/