The corporate world has seen significant growth in terms of female employees. With more women willingly coming forward to work, the dynamics of business have surely changed. However, when we talk about India, in particular, it has the lowest female labour force participation rate across the world. The countries wherein a large percentage of female employment has been observed include China (64%), US (56%), Nepal, and Bangladesh. The female labour force contributes positively to the growth of the economy. Moreover, women's employment enables them to stand against any sort of physical and mental abuse further, thus enabling them to handle social issues in a better way. In India, women are said to acquire only 19.9% of the total labour force.
The female workforce helps in the building of an inspiring work culture through healthy competition, thereby promoting teamwork and largely contributing to the growth of the company. Apart from this, working women on a small scale will make females more independent and enable them to provide a better standard of living to their families. On the bigger front, the economy as a whole can benefit from women's employment.
Feminine Hygiene At Workplaces & Why Is It Important?
Women are considered to be a multitasker, juggling between multiple responsibilities at the same time. In dealing with endless duties, women often neglect an important aspect that is feminine hygiene. Feminine hygiene is essential and needs to be maintained both at home and at workplaces. Looking at the statistics, the women workforce across the world contributes around 48.5%.
A hygienic workplace will go a long way in creating a healthier workplace, and thereby, the chances of employees falling sick will be reduced. A healthy workforce will be more happy and productive in the workplace. Organizations can prepare an official policy that must be read and adhered to by employees.
Challenges Arising Due To Feminine Hygiene Issues
Women have emerged to be strong decision-makers, however, the state of women's sanitation and hygiene is still under darkness. According to the World Health Organization, around 2 billion people still lack access to proper sanitation facilities. It is said that only 16% of women in India have access to sanitary napkins.
Women might not perform to their fullest potential owing to inadequate sanitation facilities available during their periods at their workplaces. When we talk about India, another major hurdle is that 82% of females lack knowledge about a sanitary napkin. Even more so, well-educated women are also unaware of healthy hygiene practices during their periods. Poor menstrual hygiene can pose a major risk and also put women at risk of developing cervical cancer, reproductive tract infections, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections.
Apart from that, due to the coronavirus situation, there seems to be an unfortunate shortage in the number of sanitary pads in India. Rural and semi-urban areas are the worst hit due to this pandemic crisis. However, many police personnel have started to distribute sanitary pads during the lockdown in a few cities that are facing a shortage. The biggest challenge here is due to the factories that are partially working or lack adequate workers, thereby worsening the situation even more.
Menstrual Hygiene Management At Workplaces
It is the responsibility and concern of businesses to maintain proper menstrual hygiene management at workplaces. Organizations need to ensure that women are not deprived of basic amenities during their most crucial days. A variety of factors needs to be covered by businesses while addressing menstrual hygiene management at workplaces. A well-developed menstrual hygiene system in organizations will go a long way in creating a better work environment for women. Menstrual Hygiene Management includes various aspects that should be taken care of by any business.
To keep the surroundings clean and avoid any spread of infections, adequate WASH facilities implemented by organizations must be there. An environment that is friendly and allows women to freely and comfortably change sanitary products will make them stress-free and more productive at work.
Another reason why most women skip coming to the office during their period days is financial constraints that often result in the inability to purchase sanitary products. Organizations should arrange to implement free sanitary napkins dispensers or tampon dispensers at workplaces. Such steps by organizations will create a positive environment for women. Moreover, if any female witnesses an unexpected start of periods, the availability of sanitary products at workplaces can save them.
Besides, menstrual waste disposal concerns also need to be handled by businesses. Sanitary napkins and tampons require timely disposal. Proper disposal of sanitary products will help to decrease the health and environmental hazards. To dispose of sanitary products' waste, organizations can implement incinerators that enable the burning of sanitary waste at high temperatures. This practice may help in the reduction of waste load and the spread of infections.
Additionally, organizations can introduce period leaves or the work from home option so that women can work with comfort during their most painful days.
Importance of Surface Sanitization
Improving sanitation facilities would impact the lives of 1.25 billion women and make their lives safer and healthier than ever before. It is said that an organization's cleanliness is depicted by gazing at the way their restrooms are maintained. Businesses must work towards improving their restroom facilities, ensuring cleanliness and hygiene, and focus on menstrual hygiene management at the same time.
Initial India provides a range of feminine hygiene services that will effectively address the issue. The company assures safety and protection with its range of services. Some of them are as below:
Initial’s feminine hygiene unit ensures optimum hygiene protection of the user. It offers a range of unique features including:
Businesses should install sanitary napkin vending machines in their washrooms to address the emergency needs of female employees during any unexpected crisis. Initial India’s Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine will provide immediate access to sanitary napkins during any menstrual emergencies faced by female employees. It offers a range of different features such as:
Role of Government in Spreading Awareness
The Government of India has come up with various initiatives: for example, the Swachh Bharat campaign has placed prime focus on the need and importance of sanitation facilities. Many brands and non-profit organizations have also come forward to spread awareness regarding menstrual sanitation. With such drastic steps, India can certainly grab the opportunity and create a system that will support the use of eco-friendly practices and biodegradable products.
Moreover, there needs to be more discussion and knowledge-sharing regarding the importance of mental well-being and hygiene. Lastly, the corporate world needs to understand the sensitivity of the issue and spread awareness regarding its importance across the country.