New Delhi: UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, and WaterAid India, an international not-for-profit determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation, are supporting Run4Niine – the nationwide initiative to spread awareness on menstrual hygiene awareness this International Women’s Day.
Megastar and the PAD MAN of India Akshay Kumar will be flagging-off Run4Niine, India’s largest nationwide run taking place in over 500 cities in over 20 states in India to end taboos around menstruation, from Lucknow, at 6:00am, Sahara Shaher on 8th March to mark International Women’s Day.
An initiative by Niine Sanitary Napkins, the made-in-India affordable yet premium sanitary napkins brand, Run4Niine is supported by the Niine Movement which launched the nationwide #18to82 campaign movement to bridge the gap between the 18% of menstruating females in India who use sanitary napkins, and the 82% predominantly engaging in unhygienic and unsafe alternatives such as old cloths, rags, hay and even ash.
Speaking about his association with Run4Niine, megastar Akshay Kumar said, “Once again, I am excited to be partnering with the Niine Movement to encourage an open and unashamed discussion on menstruation with my fellow citizens, pad heroes, change makers and pathbreakers for the Run4Niine. Each one of us that takes part in Run4Niine helps to create an unstoppable force that will beat the stigma around periods.”
Discussing the significance of the event taking place to mark International Women’s Day Akshay Kumar added “International Women’s Day is a significant day for women and girls across the world; a day when women are not only celebrated for their achievements and contributions in all sectors of life but a cold reminder of the inequalities that exist in our society which have kept girls and women back for centuries. International Women’s Day serves as a fitting day for Run4Niine, where EVERYONE can come together in solidarity to tackle menstrual taboos.”
Speaking about the importance of menstrual hygiene awareness, Farrukh Khan, Regional Manager (North), WaterAid India said, “Menstrual hygiene management is an important area of work for WaterAid. We use an approach that is comprehensive and focuses on addressing taboos while also creating an enabling environment to foster change. We believe that the issue needs a holistic approach that addresses all aspects, be it ensuring access to products, infrastructure or safe disposal of waste.”
Run4Niine is also supported by UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. Speaking about the Run4Niine, Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative, UN Women India MCO, said “Access to sexual and reproductive services and information is linked to all the aspects of women empowerment. The fact that only 18% of the women in India have access to sanitary napkins is a stark reminder of the efforts required to uproot misinformation at a grassroots level. Menstrual hygiene is also a sanitation matter. We need to provide more WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities for women and girls, so that they can access all spaces in a safe and dignified manner. UN Women is pleased to support Niine Movement’s nationwide ‘Run4Niine’ event taking place this International Women’s Day.”