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Information Asymmetry and Status Quo Bias in Menstrual Hygiene Market

Suffering in Silence

The presence of status quo bias and information asymmetry in the market of menstrual products as deterrents for urban, educated menstruating women to protect their health and the environment is examined. The lack of change in consumer behaviour towards menstrual products by those who have the means to afford biodegradable and safer menstrual products and adequate level of education to understand the imperative for using them is analysed. By doing this, the study examines imminent policy adjustments that are needed to promote the purchase of biodegradable and safe menstrual products in the menstrual hygiene market.

By the end of the 19th century, a growing concern about the health and sanitation of bleeding into one’s clothes led doctors to write about the infections that could be caused by the improper menstrual practices by women1 (Bushak 2016). By the late 1980s with the increased efficacy in manufacturing, this concern manifested itself into a solution in the form of commercially manufactured disposable products like sanitary napkins and tampons (Sabrina 2013). These menstrual products over time found their way into Indian markets, but not into the discourse of the common person.

Serious repercussions of harmful men­strual practices such as reproductive tract infections and reproductive morbidity (reproductive infections that may result in unnatural pregnancies or lack of such) amongst women are well-documented (Garg et al 2012; Khanna et al 2005; Shanbhag et al 2012). However, a silence around the menstrual discourse has led to unhealthy practices resulting in detrimental consequences (Geertz et al 2016).

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Updated On : 28th Oct, 2020

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