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Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India View Map
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We are well into the 21st century, and yet 50% of women and girls in developing countries, including India, cannot afford basic sanitary products to manage their periods, and rely on unhygienic practices such as old rags, sand and ash.
Together with limited knowledge and limited sanitary facilities, this leads to serious health risks, such as reproductive and urinary tract infections. It also prevents women and girls from participating in essential daily activities, such as going to school and going to work. It’s estimated that every year, 23 million girls in India drop out school upon reaching puberty.
We are here today for the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, to discuss how we can solve the challenge of period poverty to unlock gender equality, environmental sustainability and growth.
In this conversation you will hear from two women with expertise in the menstrual hygiene space, Mariana Lopez and Ira Guha.
Dr. Mariana Lopez is a Senior Advocacy Manager for the GSMA (Global Association of Mobile Operators), based in the UK. In this capacity she develops evidence-based research and policy positions related to the advancement of women’s digital and financial inclusion. Mariana holds a Masters in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Development Policy and Management from the University of Manchester. For her PhD thesis she analysed the connection between commercial activities, gender norms and the environment, with a focus on the disposal of menstrual products in India.
Ira Guha is the Founder and CEO of Asan (www.asancup.com), a social venture with a mission to eradicate period poverty across the world. With the help of engineers at the Harvard Innovation Lab, Asan developed an innovative menstrual cup that can be re-used for 10 years. For every cup Asan sells, they donate one for free to a woman or girl in India who cannot afford period products. Ira holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a First-Class BA in Politics from the University of Cambridge. Here is a short video where rural women share their feedback on the Asan cup.