The objective of this study was to assess the perception, preference and willingness to pay for sanitary napkins among women living in Kaliakair upazila, Gazipur, Bangladesh. Three different brands of sanitary napkins were used during the survey; undergarments were provided for wings type napkins. The study was conducted between May – July 2015.
A mixed method approach was used, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative components in an exploratory-explanatory design to conduct the study. Data was collected from 239 women aged between 15 and 49 yearsfrom Kaliakair. Data collection tools were prepared based on formative research, literature review and findings from the exploratory focus group discussion (FGD).
The findings from the study showed that themajority of the respondents were found to be 25 years of age or below, with more than half of the respondents attending high school. In the case of sanitary napkin usage, less than 50 per cent of the respondents reported that they used sanitary napkins prior to the study’s intervention. Previous users reported shyness as their main problem when buying napkins while non-users reported price as the main barrier to their using napkins. Those who used the napkins most frequently mentioned greater comfort, less malodor and better absorbability as reasons for finding the napkins better. Both previous users and non-users were most satisfied with hygiene, perfume and comfort as attributes of the given napkins. Among the FGD respondents, previous users of sanitary napkins reported that they were willing to pay BDT 60 -100 for sanitary napkins, while non-users reported an amount of BDT 40.
Non-users of sanitary napkins can be considered as a good consumer base if primary concerns such as pricing and attribute preferences are addressed by the producers. Hygiene, perfume and comfort were previous users’ and non-users’ top attributes in listing their preferences for a sanitary napkin.
Five trained data collectors visited the selected households with assistance from BRAC’s shasthya shebikas. They conducted face to face interviews with the participants, and also distributed the sanitary napkins and undergarments, and oriented the study participants on using the sanitary napkins.
Two anthropologists with prior data collection experience were recruited, oriented and trained to collect qualitative data. FGDs were conducted in one of the participant’s household at the study site in Kaliakair upazila.
Donor: BRAC Enterprises