Can menstrual cups promote women’s employment?

Menstrual cups are an incredible period product. They save you money, while also saving the planet.

But can we really achieve economic empowerment through menstrual cups?!

Asan’s experience shows that the answer is yes – with the correct education and training, a menstrual cup programme can really drive-up employment rates within a community. It can improve productivity within a factory or office setting.

Keep reading to learn more about Asan’s work in enhancing women’s economic participation through our menstrual cup adoption programmes.

firstly – what does menstruation have to do with work?

Menstruation, or getting your period, can be a serious impediment to attending school and work.

This is because millions of women and girls across the world suffer from period poverty–which means they don’t have a safe way to manage their period. They lack access to period education, infrastructure (such as clean toilets), and importantly, high quality period care products.

If you’re using a cloth rag that needs to be changed and washed several times a day, mobility outside the home can be extremely challenging – which leads individuals to skip leaving their home (whether to go to work, school or college) during their period.

Although factories and offices may provide disposable sanitary pads, these come with a range of challenges. They are uncomfortable and leak, making it difficult to work easily. They also pose a huge waste disposal challenge, and often result in blocked drains that are very expensive to unclog.

There is urgent need for better period care solutions for working women – and this is where Asan comes in.

how menstrual cups promote women’s employment

Since menstrual cups are a safe and convenient way to manage periods, they can really increase a woman’s mobility outside the home and her ability to work comfortably during periods.

Below are some menstrual cup benefits for women in the workplace:

  1. Convenience: No need to carry lots of pads to work, you only need one cup.
  2. Comfort: No need to constantly worry about leaks, irritation or rashes during periods.
  3. Wear your cup for 12 hours: No need to constantly change pads or cloth rags (this is especially helpful if women work in a setting with poor public toilets)
  4. No disposal: When using a cup, there is nothing to dispose of (some workplaces lack dustbins for pads which makes disposal a huge challenge).
  5. Travel and mobility is much easier during periods.

The feedback we have received from Asan’s social impact programs suggests that for women experiencing period poverty, using the Asan enables them to work an additional 2 days every single month – this adds up to 240 days over a 10 year period!

In certain factories that we have worked with, we have been able to increase overall productivity and reduce absenteeism with menstrual cups.

Based on these experiences, we believe there can be a strong link between gender equality and menstrual cup adoption in communities that experience period poverty.

In fact, in the Kanakapura region of southern India, Asan’s menstrual cup adoption programmes have already contributed to over 9 million extra days of school and work attendance!

what are the benefits of menstrual cups for employers?

Menstrual cups are not only fantastic for women and girls – they are also a great investment for employers such as factory-owners.

Here are some ways in which promoting menstrual cups help employers:

  1. Save money: Rather than sponsoring pads every month, employers just need to sponsor one cup for each woman (one Asan cup lasts up to 10 years!)
  2. Promote sustainability: Disposable pads are a major contributor to clogged drains as well as landfill waste from factories. Some factories spend thousands of dollars on unclogging drains or incinerating pads. When your workforce adopts menstrual cups, you have zero waste from plastic pads!
  3. Happier workforce: Providing high-quality, long-lasting period care is hugely empowering for your workforce, as it reduces anxiety around periods and improves mental wellbeing. 
  4. Increased productivity: All the employers we have worked with have experienced a measurable uplift in productivity among women employees, as they can comfortably work during their periods using the Asan cup. 

how can you drive menstrual cup awareness in the workforce?

Female-friendly workplace initiatives should always include workplace policies for menstrual well-being.

These policies can include menstrual leave (granting employees time off during periods), as well as proactive workshops around menstrual health and menstrual products.

All menstrual health workshops should begin with an education component – it’s important for women in the workforce to receive accurate information about menstrual health, and to have a safe space to share any issues or difficulties they are facing around dealing with periods at work.

When it comes to menstrual cup education for employees, it’s important to dedicate enough time to explaining what a cup is, how it works, and all the benefits. As cups are a relatively new product, employees may have many questions –including how to insert, clean and safely use them.

You might want to invite a menstrual health specialist to conduct these sessions – this is something Asan has deep expertise in!

Feel free to contact us to help you design a programme around empowering women employees and breaking menstrual taboos at work.

how do I get my employer to promote menstrual cup adoption?

When it comes to menstrual cup advocacy in the workplace, start by explaining to your employer that there is a direct relationship between period empowerment and career success.

It’s important for your employer to understand that promoting safe menstrual practices is not a voluntary activity – it is extremely important for every woman employee’s health and wellbeing.

If your employer has a budget for corporate wellness programs, encourage them to focus on women’s health initiatives such as menstrual cup adoption. You can share personal experiences of how menstrual cups have benefited your own work life.

Asan specialises in corporate workshops around menstrual health, sustainable period practices and how to safely use a menstrual cup. Our sessions are fun, interactive and inclusive – we’d love to partner with your workplace to bring worry-free periods to everyone!

Contact us today to plan a menstrual health session for your workplace.