First Advisor

Jean Parker, Ph.D


Emily Van Houweling, PhD


Regis College

Degree Name

Master of Development Practice

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

125 pages


Menstrual Health and Hygiene (“MHH”) is an increasing focus for the development sector because of the potential to improve the lives of women and girls by empowering them to understand and care for their bodies and to overcome the shame and stigma associated with cultural taboos around menstruation that exist all over the world. In West Bengal, India, embarrassment and secrecy surrounding menstruation, which is commonly considered an impurity, means that many menstruators do not understand the biological causes of menstruation, and many do not share information about their experiences managing menstruation and its impact on their daily lives. In addition, managing the waste generated by disposable sanitary pads has become a policy focus in India. This program uses reusable sanitary pads, an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective alternative to the disposable version, as a grassroots entry point to promote community discussion and education about menstruation. Activities to develop a market for affordable reusable sanitary pads are expected to provide opportunities for members of the target communities to learn about menstruation, make informed choices, and improve their economic circumstances by saving money on menstrual materials and earning money from sales activities.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.