No data on sanitary pad usage in Bangladesh

Taskina Yeasmin
Published : 09:35, Dec 21, 2018 | Updated : 00:22, Dec 22, 2018

Sanitary pad. FILE PHOTOThough many development agencies work with women’s health, they do not have any definite data on the usage of sanitary napkins among women. No research has been done in this regard either. Several quarters say that since this is a taboo topic, no one has ever worked on this issue.
However, currently, BRAC, Plan Bangladesh and ICDDRB are working to create awareness.
A survey on 731 women in Dhaka shows that 75 percent women use sanitary napkins who are either working women or students. On the other hand, 15 percent women who are workers in a factory or housewives depend on cloths, cotton or tissue.
This section has a monthly income below Tk 15000. Of them, 37 percent feel uncomfortable using napkins while 30 percent do not use them since they napkins are expensive.
While they buy cosmetics, usage of napkins is low due to lack of awareness.
A survey further shows that 40 percent students remain absent in school for three days due to period time inconvenience.
In the USA, though the issue of the period is linked to health studies, a research shows that 59 percent women oppose period times.
In Bangladesh, young inventor, Mehedi Hassan Robin, is working to raise awareness about the usage of sanitary napkins and he told Bangla Tribune, “We took part in British Council’s active citizen social project 2018 where the ‘safe period’ presentation found a place among the top five.”
Later, this received global recognition and Ethiopia expressed interest to replicate our plan, he added.
We worked to inspire young women with limited income to use sanitary napkins, he observed.
“The issue is a taboo among low income families but we have given training to 1682 school students.”
Plan Bangladesh communication specialist, Humaira Sultana, told Bangla Tribune, “We do not have any data as to how many women use napkins.”
In one of our projects, napkins are being made at a low cost, she added.