An inspiring Malaysian woman, Gayathri Kannama is spearheading an effort to provide menstrual items such as sanitary pads to women’s and girls who are in need. The current outbreak has far-reaching effects for many people, including lockdowns, closed borders, and closed enterprises.
As of the current pandemic, we are aware that most of them have lost their jobs and there’s zero income for months. Touched by the plight of some Malaysians, she has come up with this initiative as sanitary pads are the marginalised essential item amidst the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia.
Gayathri believes that many overlook the fact that menstruating women require sanitary pads every month, in addition to household essentials.
Paradoxically, as the public is continuously reminded to maintain proper hygiene to reduce the chance of COVID-19 infection, menstrual hygiene fades into the background, potentially increasing period poverty. Period poverty is described as a menstruation person’s lack of access to sanitary menstrual supplies that are both safe and hygienic.
The flow of basic information about menstrual health and hygiene has been disrupted as education and health services have been affected. More than ever, we ought to come up with new and innovative ways to educate people about menstruation – to dispel myths and communicate factual, positive information about menstruation in order to raise awareness and eliminate stigma and shame.
Keep up the great work, Gayathri!