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IMPACT

INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE FOR PRACTICIONER, ACADEMIC AND COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION

What Factors Influence Women's Choices in Reusable Cloth Pads in Myanmar?

Updated: May 23

We find a story of taboos and untold stories in the mysterious realm of menstruation, where silence shrouds the truth. The fate of young girls immersed in shame and humiliation as a result of a lack of awareness and comprehension prior to their first menstruation. They are robbed of  their independence, stuck in anxiety, and isolated as a result of society's stigmatization. Tragically, customers are concerned, since the girls seek hygiene and convenience, longing to be free of the duty of washing and reusing cloth pads. The struggle is real because these reusable products are not comparable to the appeal of sanitary napkins in terms of comfort and user-friendliness.


In Myanmar, tradition rules, where longyis are turned into absorbent shields and handcrafted pads are the norm. Some people fold them around their waists, while others make small pieces the size of a pad and tuck them covertly into their underwear. Following a cycle of washing and reuse, tradition continues to perform with us.


It is time to remove the cover of silence, to support empowerment via education, and to champion the cause of comfortable, hygienic alternatives.


Marketing reusable cloth pads in Myanmar

To begin putting an end to shame and indicate in a new knowledge period so that ladies can realize their full potential free from the  burden of secrecy, research has been done to introduce a new design for a reusable cloth pad according to the preference of the users in Myanmar and to find out their opinion on the newly designed cloth pad to see market potential for reusable cloth pad. The research targeted females between the ages 15 to 49 particularly those who use hygiene products through conducting focus group discussion and distributing survey questionnaires (Figure 1). Four specific regions in Myanmar were studied, including urban Yangon and Mandalay, and rural Inle and Bago. Customers gladly accept reusable cloth pads. Businesses which are concerned with hygiene should take note that set the proper pricing, ensure quality products, and make them easily available to make consumers convenient.


Figure 1: Attitude on reusable cloth pads in Myanmar

Attitude on reusable cloth pads in Myanmar

Source: Author

 

Customer preferences and willingness to pay for reusable cloth pads

The study discovered that comfort is important, with greater comfort resulting in a higher willingness to pay (WTP). Additionally, customers' willingness to spend (WTS) extra for things that make their lives easier makes convenience an effective motivation. Oval, rectangle, and square shapes of the product have greater WTP values than other shapes. Additionally, the choice of material has a significant impact, with cotton dominating and attracting the greatest prices. The findings  provide useful perceptions into consumer behavior and a road map for companies to better comprehend and satisfy the needs and preferences of their customers.


Girls from metropolitan areas and girls from rural areas are prominent, a fascinating story of preferences is told. Reusable cloth pads are not often adopted  by city inhabitants, who lead fast-paced lives. This is due to the lengthy process of washing, reusing, and preserving these eco-friendly treasures causing them to worry about inconvenience. The rural females, on the other hand, have a distinct viewpoint because they are firmly anchored in their customs. The inconvenience is lessened by the fact that they have been using cloth pads, albeit of inferior quality. Price is their main concern instead, because it could be difficult to afford. A spark of hope does, however, shine through all of it where reusable cloth pads are generally  liked by consumers, who appreciate their eco-friendliness and health advantages. The regular sanitary napkins, in comparison, also impose a heavy impact on the environment and health. The stage is set for change toward a more sustainable and healthy future in this compelling tale of urban and rural preferences.


Is there a market potential for reusable pads in Myanmar?


Since consumers are willing to pay for reusable cloth pads and significance, this means that Myanmar has a potential market for environmentally friendly hygiene goods.


The target market would be the younger generation, between the ages of 24 and 32, who are office workers and university students, and have income. Cotton is the most favorable material to use in making cloth pad, oval shape is the customer preferences design (Figure 2). For reusability, they indicated they do not want to use cloth pads more than 12 months (1 year) due to hygiene concerns. 


Figure 2: Prototype design of reusable cloth pad

Prototype design of reusable cloth pad

Source: Author


The pillars of significance—price, comfort, reusability, convenience, pattern, and materials—paint a clear picture of what customers want. Reusable cloth pads have a seductive attraction that draws consumers in and suggests a potential market in Myanmar, particularly among the energetic younger population. However, we will not ignore the costbarrier, as the WTP for these pads may seem a little pricey to customers in Myanmar. Concern otherwise, the study gives wise recommendations such as to think about purchasing a package of  reusable cloth pads, utilizing the WTP results to accommodate different preferences.

 

For policymakers, menstruation awareness takes center stage as a crucial subject in the  health sector. In the field of economics, pleading with the government to support small and medium-sized businesses, enabling people to make reusable cloth pads and stimulating household incomes. With these discoveries in hand, we set out on a transformational journey where deliberate actions and entrepreneurial spirit combine to create a better future.

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