Sanitary Pads World Record Aims to Destroy Period Stigma
A sanitary pad installation aimed at spreading awareness about women's hygiene has set a new Guinness World Record.
The world’s longest line of sanitary pads was set by 500 people, including gynecologists and medical experts, during the 62nd All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AICOG) in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. The installation, designed in the shape of a uterus with the slogan "nothing's more cuterus than your uterus," featured 10,105 sanitary pads in a line 1,078 meters long (more than 3,500 feet), Guinness World Record officials confirmed.
Take Action: Let’s #EndPeriodPoverty
"In some communities in India, women are not allowed to enter religious places, cook food, or participate in socio-cultural activities during their period," Bangalore-based obstetrician and gynecologist Prathima Reddy told the Economic Times. "This revolves around the myth that menstruation is impure and the body is cursed during this time."
A 2016 National Family Health Survey report revealed 62% of Indian women between the ages of 15 and 24 still use cloth rags instead of sanitary napkins or tampons, increasily the risk of infection and cervical cancers. Each year, 23 million Indian girls are forced to drop out of school when they begin menstruating due to a lack of functioning toilets, lack of access to menstrual health products, and overall period stigma.
In July, India revoked the 12% tax on sanitary pads following a petition by politician Sushmita Dev. The online petition, which drew attention to the fact that 70% of women in India are unable to afford sanitary napkins, garnered upward of 400,000 signatures.
"I hear that sanitary napkins have been exempted from GST. I want to thank all the people who signed my petition #taxfreewings," Dev tweeted. "This is monumental in the step towards improving the accessibility, availability, and affordability of the product to millions of women."
I hear that sanitary napkins have been exempted from GST. I want to thank all the people who signed my petition #taxfreewings— Sushmita Dev (@sushmitadevmp) July 21, 2018
Clearly the government had put forth frivolous arguments for one year & delayed it.
AICOG Chairperson Hema Divakar revealed the world recording-breaking pads will now be donated to four local high schools, according to Indian news publication the News Minute.