Looking to break long-standing social taboos is Saba Khalid. The owner of the Pakistani start-up, named Aurat Raaj, Saba has set the goal of starting discussions on menstruation.
Aurat Raaj will help educate women and teens about periods through voice messages sent through WhatsApp.
Khalid is of the view that a change is coming, slowly but surely, among communities. Her service operates in the country’s southern province of Sindh.
Another important aim of hers is to see information on periods in the school curriculum. She is working day and night to spread the message about menstruation as not a matter of ‘shame’, but a healthcare issue. By carrying out the urban and rural campaign, Aurat Raaj has touched around 50,000 women.
Another member of the Pakistani start-up, Shaiwana Nasir, said that people were first offended when they were approached. One of their challenges was to reach women, as lesser women possessed smartphones in the villages that Nasir overlooked.
The women also needed convincing about how important the service is. Once they were successful, they enrolled women in their educational sessions. Every member of the team dedicated a room in their house in which women gathered to hear audio messages and take part in group discussions.
The team’s hope now is to extend the services of Aurat Raaj to other provinces, primarily Punjab, as holds the country’s majority population. The donors of the organization include UN Children’s Fund, the BMW Foundation, the Vodafone Americas Foundation and the UN Women.
Raaji Reusable Project
A big part of this startup is their ‘Raaji reusable project’. The team has created menstrual pads. These pads can be reused.
The benefit of this is that menstrual products can tend to be expensive, which is why people living below the poverty belt cannot access them. Similarly, the disposable products that the majority uses have 90% plastic that can lead to infections.
These cloth pads will last 2 years, and are more accessible. These are good for health, and more convenient for women.
What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.