Social entrepreneurship in India: Cut from a different cloth


Lacking the feminine touch

RATAN JADHAV, a shy, slight woman in her 30s, works on a farm in Osmanabad, a remote part of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Her tiny mud-brick house boasts such modern conveniences as a computer bought with a loan from relatives, while arranged neatly on the kitchen window sill are her teenage daughter’s cosmetics. Yet when it comes to personal hygiene, both women prefer a cotton rag to a branded sanitary pad (although an exception may be made for a special occasion, such as a wedding). “Why buy one,” asks the mother, when a homespun substitute does the job?Ms Jadhav is one of 300m menstruating Indian women who eschew sanitary pads in favour of rags, dry leaves, straw or newspapers. AC Nielsen, a research firm, says that 70% of women in India cannot afford sanitary products. Many who can pay do not, as they hate having to ask for them in drugstores that are usually run by men.This has serious consequences. Adolescent girls miss up to 50 days of school a year. Some 23% drop out altogether. Working women lose their daily wages. The social and economic benefits to be had from resolving this…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/business/21586328-building-business-around-solving-chronic-female-health-care-problem-cut-different?fsrc=rss|bus

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