India I 26 March, 2022: Plan India and Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu today visited Mahipalpur, New Delhi to donate a machine that will help produce sanitary menstruation products, as part of their newly launched initiative earlier this week. Sandhu and Plan India Executive Director Mohammed Asif greeted local women and girls from Plan India communities and educated them on the importance of menstrual health and equity, as well as breaking the stigma around menstruation.
Earlier this week, Plan India along with Miss Universe Organization, Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu, the social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham aka Pad Man, and social impact agency DDB For Good announced a global coalition to advance menstrual equity for girls and young women. Plan India committed to be the on-the-ground NGO partner to help achieve the coalition’s goal of menstrual equity for 5 million women and girls by 2025 in the India pilot program. DDB For Good, DDB Mudra Group’s dedicated social impact agency, in partnership with Changing Our World, will use public mobilization and creative storytelling to raise funds for the platform. Both agencies are part of the Omnicom Group.
As part of striving for adolescent girls’ health and ending period poverty, Plan India works for Menstrual Hygiene Education and Management in the country to ensure that girls are able to manage menstruation safely. They aim to target all genders to transform the way they think about menstruation, resulting in a positive change in attitude, including stigma related to menstrual health and hygiene.
“It was so powerful to meet some of the women and girls who will benefit from this program,” said Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu. “Every woman around the globe should be able to manage her menstruation with dignity, safety and confidence, and I’m thrilled to be able to be here today as we start our coalition’s on-the-ground outreach, and donate the program’s first machine to a community in need.”
The endeavor will begin in India, where 62% young women and girls do not have access to safe menstrual care, with plans to take the initiative international in the coming years. Nearly 500 million individuals worldwide are experiencing period poverty and the coalition’s multi-million dollar fundraising goal will be used to make measurable impact across several fronts: reducing the stigma and raising awareness, education, policy and access to sustainable resources and products for menstrual equity.
Expressing gratitude at the on-ground launch of the ‘Advancing Menstrual Equity for all Girls and Women in India’ Project, Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India said, “It’s a proud moment for us to be a part of this coalition, and to see Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz Sandhu meet our young girls and commit herself to the noble cause. Menstrual equity remains a distant dream for at least 3 out of 5 girls and women in our country. Plan India has been working relentlessly for the past three decades in partnership with girls, women’s groups and other development actors to advance girls’ rights and gender equality. We are confident that this coalition will lead to a national as well a global movement to achieve menstrual equity for girls and women.”
Shally Mukherjee – Founder & Head, DDB For Good says “The issue of period poverty is multi-faceted. Lack of access to hygienic and affordable sanitary protection is at the heart of it. One of our key objectives is to create a regular access to affordable pads for these communities. The setting up of these machines not just does that but also creates livelihoods in the community. Today was just the beginning.”
About DDB For Good
DDB For Good is a social impact agency based out of Mumbai. A part of the DDB Mudra Group, DDB for Good specialises in mobilizing collaborations to bring together influence, resources and expertise for meaningful and at-scale impact. The agency has expertise in branding, storytelling, fundraising and mobilising support through media interventions. DDB For Good works with corporates, NGOs, fundraisers, social impact organisations and philanthropists. To bring in global expertise, DDB For Good partners with Changing our World, an Omnicom agency.
About The Miss Universe Organization (MUO)
The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) is a global community that empowers women to realize their goals through experiences that build self-confidence and create opportunities for success. MISS UNIVERSE®, MISS USA®, and MISS TEEN USA® programs provide the 10,000 women who participate annually an international platform to affect positive change through influential humanitarian and professional efforts. The contestants and titleholders are leaders and role models in their communities, develop personal and professional goals, and inspire others to do the same. MUO is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company. For more information, visit www.missuniverse.com.