It is a well-known fact that India is a country with a history spanning hundreds of years of multiplicity inequality. However, the inequality between women and men is ignoring as in other patriarchal societies. An entrepreneur, who is Arunachalam Muruganantham, cause to closing gender gaps in India and up to 106 nations1 by inventing low-cost sanitary pad-making machine.
In India, unfortunately, a woman’s period (menstruation) is still something ashamed. When asking girls “What is the period?”; they become serious, they laugh, they lose their eyes. Usually, they do not answer it or they say false things just like men do. Most of the Indian society has wrong information about period such that it is just important to get pregnant or it is a kind of disease in women or even they do not know why and they say only gods know the reason.
Melissa Berton state that a period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education. On the other hand, today, most of the girls miss school due to the period! Even in the United States, nearly 1 in 5 girls report having missed school for lack of adequate period products; according to Dahlqvist, “the statistics on the proportion [of girls] who stay home while on their period vary, from 20 percent in studies from Ghana, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone to roughly 30 percent in Nepal, South Africa, and Afghanistan, 40 percent in Senegal, and 50 percent in Kenya.”2. It should be similar portions for Indian girls; because even they have women Gods, going to the temple and praying is a sin for Indian women! Therefore, imagine the conditions for girls in India!
Even in the market, there is a lot of pads is selling; women could not buy. One of the reasons is that if there is a man in the market, women become ashamed and not buy the pad. Another reason is the price. India is a poor country and most of the women do prefer to use old clothes to prevent blood from leaking and use them again and again instead of buying a pad. However, women who do use cloths are often too embarrassed to dry them in the sun, which means they don’t get disinfected and approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases in India are caused by poor menstrual hygiene2.
For this reason, Arunachalam Muruganantham’s mission is to increase pad usage to 100% in India. This entrepreneurship, luckily, begins with an invention that is the low-cost sanitary pad making the machine. So, the prices of these pads are lower than other pads. The production of pads making with women and also marketing. They tell the advantages of this pad to customers and their families. At first, it was not easy, but when a woman purchase then other women also purchase. Moreover, men get used to the idea that the period is natural so a period is no longer a social taboo.
To sum up; it was not only for profit but also for social benefits. Today, in India and most of the developed countries, girls do not have to quit school because of this entrepreneurship. Moreover; he is well-known as a social entrepreneur, he has given lectures at many institutions and also won many prizes.
1) Venema, V. (2014, March 4). The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary. Retrieved April 24, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978
2) When Girls Miss School Due to Menstrual Shame, It’s More Than a Women’s Health Issue. (2018, October 10). Retrieved April 24, 2020, from https://www.bloodandmilk.com/when-girls-miss-school-on-their-periods-its-more-than-a-womens-health-issue/