Girls and women in Bangladesh face period-related challenges that are rooted in social, cultural, and economic factors. The lack of menstrual health education and access to affordable menstrual hygiene products negatively affects their self esteem and performance in school. This reduces their opportunities for a better life thereafter.
Having suffered from period poverty, a lack of information and guidance in her adolescence, Sharmin Kabir was inspired to work on the period “taboo” to make a better world for girls and women. She started Wreetu in 2016 with a vision to build a period-friendly world.
Wreetu is a social enterprise that delivers menstrual education through community-based seminars and comic books. Wreetu also engages the community in fruitful menstrual discourse and offers washable, environmentally friendly, and economically viable menstrual hygiene products. Wreetu has been working to reduce gender inequality and empower women by ensuring their good health and well-being. This has been achieved by involving the community in ensuring the accessibility, availability and affordability of menstrual knowledge, products, and services.
Since its inception, Wreetu has developed the first comic book on puberty and menstruation for adolescent girls, through which they have educated over 100,000 girls and community members. Wreetu has also manufactured and distributed 17000+ comic books, 25,000+ reusable period products, and renovated 23 slum toilets while 8 more and 10 shower places renovation are in the process for girls and women so they can have their period dignity. Further, a video series and a period guide created for Dads have helped encourage healthy menstrual discourse with their daughters. Translating Wreetu Comic Book in Chakma Language has gained the attention of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) experts in Bangladesh.
With QCT’s support, Wreetu plans to finalize the development of a non-biased Gynae Services m-health App in Bangladesh, which will help address the gynecological needs of adolescent girls and women in hard-to-reach areas. With this platform, any girl or woman from Bangladesh will be able to read about various gynae topics, book services and talk to a doctor. It will also be a forum to interact with other users and buy affordable hygiene products.