With the world fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, hygiene products that keep people safe and help them maintain their hygiene are as essential as food. While everyone is receiving essentials like food and medicines, it is also important to think of essentials from a woman’s perspective. Sanitary napkins are the basic requirement for women to stay healthy and free from infections during their menstrual cycle, and access to them - especially during a pandemic - is very important.
Committed to making menstrual hygiene products available to all women, young Indian homegrown sanitary napkin brand Paree decided to reach out to women in need and introduced the initiative #SheFirst reinforcing the fact that access to pads is essential, especially during lockdown.
Paree, with support of CII-IWN, Rasoi on Wheels, Punjab Police and various other bodies, are ensuring that the most essential menstrual hygiene product - sanitary towels - reach as many women and girls as possible. Saina Nehwal, Garima Avatar, Rinki Dhingra (chairwoman of CII-IWN), Manika Badhwar (co-founder of Rasoi On Wheels) and many others have put their collective support behind this initiative to help spread the message and to help maintain the dignity of every woman in this critical time.
Talking about the campaign, Sahil Dharia, CEO and founder of Paree says: “Women are the backbone of our society and the primary caregivers in our families. Yet, she always puts everyone else ahead of her own needs when in fact, she should come first. Our belief that pads are essential for every menstruating woman is driving the dialogue that at a time of crisis, 'she comes first'. As a brand, I want to assure each woman that during Covid-19, we are with you and you can trust us."
Saina Nehwal, one of the shareholders of the brand Paree, supported the campaign, adding: “I am so glad that people have realised the importance of the availability of sanitary napkins and have come forward to help women. I salute Punjab Police, CII-IWN, Rasoi On Wheels and corporates like Paree on their initiative to ensure menstrual essentials being prioritised and provided to women during this pandemic. The #SheFirst campaign is the voice I would like to put my weight behind, not just as a woman, but also as a citizen that can pedestal the voices of many other women. I stand behind the menstrual dignity of every woman and I pledge that #PadsAreEssential.”
The campaign is active in cities like Punjab, Delhi and Gurgaon through various channels, and so far, Paree have supplied sanitary towels to areas across Delhi and districts of Punjab. Paree’s main endeavour is to bring attention to the fact that the women’s needs with respect to their menstrual hygiene need to be prioritised. Women are far more vulnerable to contagions when they are menstruating and, in this pandemic, there is a need to be more aware of this fact than ever before.
CII-IWN chairwoman Rinki Dhingra, says: “CII-IWN Delhi chapter is delighted to have collaborated with Paree, whose vision is so panoramic. Women across segments in India have struggled to gain access to the basics, with menstrual hygiene products being the most elusive to them. I am glad that corporations like Paree have stepped in with their foresight and initiative to distribute free sanitary pads to the women workforces who are most in need." Additionally, Manika Badhwar, co-founder of Rasoi-on-Wheels supported the campaign on ground: “Menstrual hygiene, I feel, is a huge issue for women across socio-economic groups during this time and I pledge to play my part in helping them."
The call to action is for brands to step forward at this time to help with essentials for women, which includes making sanitary towels available, apart from other sanitary products. Paree is a women-centric brand, ‘of the women, by the women and for the women’. It believes in highlighting the importance around the of menstrual issues which will help in ensuring menstrual hygiene for all as an essential right, while at the same time, breaking taboos around menstruation in society.