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Nine-month pilot on Nepali businesses and menstrual hygiene ends

Nine-month pilot on Nepali businesses and menstrual hygiene ends

On December 6, 2021,the USAID Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnership and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) program convened 75 Nepali business leaders and policy makers for ‘Menstruation at Work: Improving Business Outcomes.’ This event marked the end of a groundbreaking nine-month pilot operation that demonstrated how Nepali businesses can improve menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in their workplaces while also promoting inclusive growth.

Menstruation is often a source of shame, embarrassment, and physical discomfort for women in Nepal and globally. This can prevent women from going to work, from engaging at their full potential in the workplace, or from excelling on the job, which in turn can negatively impact household income and the national economy. Based on the two pilot programs at Shangrila Carpet Factory and Milha Custom Rugs, ‘Menstruation at Work: Improving Business Outcomes’ highlighted the impact of private sector leadership in creating menstruation-friendly workplaces on women, businesses, and inclusive economic growth for all Nepali people.

Dr. Dil Bahadur Gurung from the National Planning Commission was the Chief Guest and provided remarks. Dr. Usha Jha, former member of the National Planning Commission, gave the key note address.

USAID/Nepal Mission Director Sepideh Keyvanshad attended the event, noting “USAID is collaborating with the private sector to help meet our joint responsibility for improving society, while making sure economic growth is inclusive of the vulnerable, the poor, and the marginalized populations, leaving no one behind.” She continued, “We hope the results from the study will generate more interest among business leaders and public sector experts in addressing menstrual hygiene management in the workplace, because it is good for employees and for businesses.”

A panel discussion moderated by the Vice President of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal, Neeru Rayamajhi Katri, also took place during the event. The panel of experts included Guna Raj Shrestha from the MHM Partners Alliance, Dr. Anjana Dongol from the Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Dorje Lama the owner of Shangrila Carpet Factory, and Jiblal Pokharel from Nepal CRS Company. 

USAID WASHPaLS is a five-year (2016–2021) activity funded by USAID’s Bureau for Global Health that identifies and shares best practices for achieving sustainability, scale, and impact of environmental health and WASH interventions.