From its inception, Eco Femme has used participatory and action research methods, rooted in inquiry-based group work, to understand the unique situations and real needs of women and girls in the various communities we work within. Focus groups, one-to-one interviews, and evaluation sessions directly inform the design and content of our products and programs.
In 2010, prior to forming as a social enterprise, Eco Femme conducted interviews with 300 women in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, as a way to understand and address the menstrual beliefs and practices of women in the bioregion. These results, published in our 2011 Rural Menstrual Hygiene Management report, can be read here. A two-year study was then conducted to product-test three models of Eco Femme pads with rural women. This study, which was released in November 2013, can be read here.
Now successfully launched as a social enterprise, with a reach extending throughout India and internationally, Eco Femme continues to refine our products and programs to address the needs of diverse populations. Part of the way we do this is by sustaining active dialogue with our partners, customers, and ambassadors in various geographical regions as well as soliciting feedback from them.
While committed to providing basic menstrual health and hygiene education, an ongoing area of interest for us at Eco Femme lies in researching alternative approaches to the biomedical model of menstruation. This includes more gynocentric (female-centered) and holistic cultural beliefs and practices that still exist in some form in traditional communities, or that may have existed in other historical periods. Within the Indian context, future areas of research include goddess worship, community menstrual rites, and rites-of-passage for girls.
We have also created a downloadable Book List of our recommended reads.