Rubi lives in Barguna, Bangladesh, with her husband and daughter. Her husband owns a photocopy shop and is the breadwinner of the family. Like her mother and grandmother, Rubi never considered earning an income as something women could do. She took care of the house and their child. Then Rubi was selected to participate in an entrepreneur training under WASH SDG program. After the training, she was linked to a micro-credit institution that provided her with a loan to start a business selling low-cost sanitary pads.
Rubi says it was not an easy journey to become an entrepreneur. “I had no idea how to start a business. I also never thought selling sanitary napkins could be a profitable business”. Initially her husband and mother-in-law were strongly opposed to Rubi starting a business. “My husband ordered me to stay at home and take care of the family”, Rubi says. Her mother-in-law did not like the fact that Rubi was planning to sell sanitary pads at all. “In Bangladesh, menstruation is every woman’s secret.” She explains, “And my mother-in-law was afraid other community members would boycott us.” Ruby did not give up. She was determined to become an entrepreneur. She now has a small showroom near her house and earns 5,000 Bangladeshi Taka (50 euros) per month. Having her own business has made a positive impact on her life. “The business gives me freedom and confidence. Having my own income has changed my position in the family and gave me more power.”