Addressing the need
Recognizing these costs, leaders, experts, and communities worldwide are joining a growing movement to address and improve menstrual health. In South Africa, Kenya, and India, national governments have committed to subsidizing sanitary pads for low-income girls and women in rural areas. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs—many of them women—are developing affordable and appealing menstrual care products. In addition, innovative technologies such as the menstrual cup are providing women with new options.
At the same time, many menstrual care products are still not available through mainstream markets, and prices remain too high for many of the low-income women who would benefit the most. There is also considerable need for educational curricula that can be adapted for different contexts and age groups; improved WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) services; waste disposal approaches that allow women to manage menstruation safely and with dignity; better research about how menstruation affects women’s health and development; and increased awareness and advocacy. Meeting these needs will require innovative cross-sector partnerships to advance effective and sustainable solutions.
PATH’s areas of focus
PATH is working to expand and accelerate our work. Key focus areas include:
- Identifying and validating innovative new menstrual health products for women in low-resource settings.
- Developing and implementing a strategy to test market introduction of new products.
- Expanding access through local and global markets.
- Shaping a research agenda and contributing evidence on the impact of improved access to information and products on women’s health and development.
- Integrating menstrual health programming into country-level reproductive health, WASH, maternal, newborn, and child health, and gender platforms.
- Building awareness of and commitment to effective programming and policies.