The Myna Mahila Foundation is an NGO that was founded by Suhani Jalota in 2015 during her studies at Duke University. The organization’s goal is to create a social enterprise that can improve women’s access to menstrual healthcare.
In India, 23 million girls drop out of school early because they begin menstruating. The Myna Mahila Foundation aims to address this problem of girls missing school and limiting their potential because of their periods. The foundation has recently gained global attention due to high involvement with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. The following are 10 facts about the Myna Mahila foundation that everyone should know.
10 Facts About the Myna Mahila Foundation
- The three goals of the foundation are improving menstrual hygiene affordability, generating female employment in slums and building women’s networks. The foundation manufactures low-cost high-quality sanitary napkins and sells them door to door, thus employing women in the Mumbai slums and providing affordable sanitary products to those in need.
- The foundation not only aims to have a direct impact by providing employment and affordable hygiene products, but it also wants to start a conversation about this issue and how it affects women in India and around the world.
- In 2018, founder Suhani Jalota was honored by Forbes 30 under 30 Asia. She was also previously honored with the Queen Young Leaders Award, the Melissa and Doug Entrepreneurship Fellowship and a Glamour Magazine Award.
- Meghan Markle wrote about the Myna Mahila Foundation for TIME in 2017. Additionally, Suhani Jalota attended the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May along with three other members of the foundation, Archana Ambre, Deborah Das and Imogen Mansfield.
- Less than a year after its creation, the foundation had already reached 1,500 women across five slums in Mumbai both through employment and hygienic products.
- There are over 3,000 regular users of Myna pads in India.
- Over 500,000 pads have been manufactured since the foundation was created.
- In addition to the menstrual hygiene initiative, the Myna Mahila Foundation also provides opportunities for women to work from home so they can take care of their children. The organization also collects donations such as books, toys and clothes and makes these available to people from the slums.
- The foundation empowers its staff by providing education in English, Math, health, computers and self-defense.
- The Myna Mahila Foundation was chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, as one of the charities where guests were to send contributions in place of wedding gifts. This has brought a large amount of attention to the foundation and its efforts.
These important facts about the Myna Mahila Foundation reveal the organization’s enormous impact on Indian women and on the issue of menstrual hygiene. The organization is expanding beyond its original goal, changing lives with education and work opportunities and improving the way women feel about their bodies.
– Luz Solano-Flórez