It’s a Girl Thing – Altrad Middle East Sustainability Initiative
The Altrad Group are delighted to support the Altrad Middle East business with the launch of the “It’s a Girl Thing” menstrual cup initiative. Menstruation remains a taboo subject, despite the fact that 50% of the global population menstruate, and the truth is that the lack of conversation and access to proper sanitary methods inhibits girls’ education.
Within our Middle East business, we have a significant number of long term, highly valued, Indian personnel and when reflecting on how we can help to support our staff and, ultimately, the female members of their communities, we are introducing the following initiative. Within India there are some 350 million menstruating women, with approximately one third using disposable sanitary pads in urban areas, with two thirds still using rags.
Without access to property sanitary items, girls miss school as they go through their cycle, meaning that large portions of school are missed - equating to almost 4 months yearly.
Where traditional sanitary products are used, this generates approximately 12 billion disposable sanitary pads per annum, equating to some 113,000 metric tons as non-biodegradable waste that can take over 1000 years to break down (if at all) and it is estimated that one woman will use between 11 and 16 thousand tampons or pads throughout a lifetime, according to CNN.
To compound the issues, only a few major cities utilise incinerators, with waste either going into landfill or sewerage system and the seas. In the worst cases, communities that have no waste disposal methods will have to live surrounded by this waste.
Altrad Middle East have taken the initiative to supply “Moon Cups” into areas in need. Moon Cups are made of medical grade silicone, last for 10 years and are fully reusable. An initial supply of some 15,000 cups will be distributed with a controlled roll-out and educational process resulting in targeting many major real issues: supporting health and wellbeing of girls, empowerment of the individual, stimulating the conversation through a targeted education program whilst also having a significant, positive impact on the environment.
CEO for the Middle East Region Nick Morgan commented:
“This is a really important initiative that we are driving. Our Indian teams are critical to the success of our business and recognizing that we can support women in the sub-continent in what is seen by many people as a taboo subject is something we actively support”.
Altrad Group co-CEO Ran Oren also commented:
“With this project, our Middle East team is once again delivering on many of the goals we have set: a positive impact on our communities; reducing waste to protect the environment; and enabling quality education, directly for girls, to bring about greater diversity and social mobility”.