Diksha Srivastava, Arunima Kumari & Sudhanand Prasad Lal
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Samastipur, Bihar
Menstrual taboos impact women's health behavior, contextual understanding aids comprehension, and menstruation's stigma still affects social involvement. Lately, initiatives like Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Sanitary Napkin (JASSN) have emerged, aiming to address these challenges. As we know, Community-based organizations (ASHA and JEEViKA) play a crucial role in bridging the gap between healthcare systems and local communities. With over one million dedicated female health workers across India, ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activist) contribute significantly to health care sector and community well-being. In a similar vein, JEEViKA (Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society) started as a pilot project in 2006 in 6 blocks of 6 districts and currently, it is operating in all 534 blocks of Bihar which consist of 1.17 crore JEEViKA didi, is a pioneering CBO in India, empowering women through financial services for self-reliance and community contribution. CBOs offers a unique lens to explore level of women’s social participation before and after the introduction of JASSN. Therefore, to find this level of social participation, the study was conducted in a purposively chosen area, characterized by established Jan Ausadhi Kendra structures, in Muzaffarpur, and Samastipur district of Bihar among 160 respondents. Further, the level of social participation before and after the introduction of JASSN was evaluated using Pre-test-Post-test assessment methods and results indicated positive changes. Finally, the level of social participation using paired 't' test was 10.68750, the 'Z' value of Wilcoxon Singed Pair Rank Test was -10.979, and the significance level was 1 percent. These findings are revealing that there has been a significant reduction in cultural restrictions on women's social participation during menstruation, potentially attributed to the combined efforts of ASHA and JEEViKA.