Pad Man: Championing Menstrual Hygiene and Tax Reform in India







Sustainable Development Goals Impacted

Launching the World’s First Feature Film on Menstruation

The intricate web of challenges surrounding menstrual hygiene, period poverty, and the period taboo represents one of the most pressing issues affecting both developed and developing nations today. The silence and stigma surrounding menstruation continue to perpetuate this global crisis.

The Opportunity

At The World We Want, we recognize the transformative potential of film in reshaping perceptions, fostering empathy, and driving action toward a more equitable and sustainable world. In response to the urgent need for menstrual hygiene awareness, we embarked on a pioneering initiative – supporting with the production and worldwide release of “Pad Man,” the world’s first feature film dedicated to addressing global menstrual hygiene issues and the associated taboos. This cinematic masterpiece stars the renowned international megastar, Akshay Kumar, along with acclaimed actresses Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte.

“Pad Man” seamlessly weaves together a compelling narrative with impactful advocacy, shedding light on the often-overlooked challenges of menstrual hygiene.

The Impact

We led the strategic charge for “Pad Man,” propelling menstrual hygiene into the global spotlight and catalysing a pivotal policy shift within the Indian government – the abolition of taxes on sanitary pads. Our campaign strategically leveraged the news agenda, attracting the attention of global media giants, from The Times and CNN to Time and Newsweek, as well as national TV channels in the UK, including BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 News. A high-profile media day was meticulously organized in the UK, featuring the film’s producer, Twinkle Khanna, who delivered a keynote address at Oxford Union and held a pivotal meeting with Malala Yousafzai, resulting in even greater exposure.

We led an influencer engagement campaign, enlisting prominent advocates for menstrual hygiene awareness, such as supermodel Natalia Vodianova and non-profits like Bindi.

We forged a strategic partnership with UN Women, and facilitated filming at the UN headquarters.

The extensive national and international media coverage and attention garnered by “Pad Man” served as a linchpin in a broader lobbying campaign with the Indian Government. This concerted effort bore fruit as the government made the momentous decision to abolish taxes on menstrual hygiene products, marking a significant step toward a more equitable future.