Freedom Vending Machine, an initiative of Freedom, one of the leading sanitary napkin brands in Bangladesh, has been playing a pioneering role in raising women's awareness about period health for the past few years.
The main obstacle for maintaining menstrual hygiene for thousands of women is the easy availability of napkins. Most of them are exposed to long term health risks due to the unavailability of sanitary napkins at school, college, university or other places where they spend most of the day studying or working.
Also, many use unhygienic methods like using clothes during periods which can cause severe health risks, reads a press release.
In an initiative of Freedom, the country's first sanitary napkin vending machine was installed free of cost at Dhaka University in December 2019. The initial installation of 10 vending machines ensured the availability of affordable sanitary napkins for the then 15,000 female students of the university.
Vending machines have also been set up at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, BAF Shaheen College, Eden Women's College, North South University, BRAC University, Jagannath University, Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University and many more.
Freedom vending machines are being installed in different schools, colleges and universities of the country, reads the statement.
With over 100 Freedom Vending Machines, more than 35 lakh women can easily access affordable sanitary napkins at any time.
Nowadays, from school, college to university, Freedom Vending Machine is a name of relief. Now girls can buy napkins from vending machines at any time for only Tk10. One piece of napkin comes out easily after inserting a ten taka note in the machine.
This way women can avoid the embarrassment of asking for a pad from someone, or embarrassment of going to and from the store, or the hassle of the store being closed.
Freedom's goal is to ensure that period is no obstacle for the women in Bangladesh, to lead their lives freely, celebrate occasion, fulfill their dreams, or empower themselves.
To achieve this goal, the Freedom Vending Machine started its journey with the initial attempt to make sanitary napkins available to women at any time. Freedom is moving forward to ensure menstrual hygiene for women by creating "Freedom Hygiene Network" by setting up more vending machines in the future.