Why is it that women are looked down upon when they are in their periods? Why the red stain on the skirt of a school going girl results in drop out of school? Why are people not bothered by red paan stains over temple wall but are bothered by red stain on her dress? Why out of 100% government schools in India, 47% of schools don’t have separate and usable toilets? These questions roll down my mind every now and then. There are certainly many issues and facts that has not been covered yet. There are many cases where Menstruation is taboo in India. How many people know the fact that 70% of reproductive diseases in India are caused due to poor menstrual hygiene or how many people know that 10% of girls in India believe that menstruation is a Disease. It is not the periods that women state they are down. It is rather the people who shame menstruating women.
The sanitary napkins and tampons are most common product women or girls use while they are in their periods. But again when they go to stores to buy the products, shopkeepers wrap sanitary napkins to newspaper because of the shame associated with menstruation. Why is it so? The campaigns and awareness programs over social media will change nothing. 24% of Indian women have access to Facebook, 26% of Indian women have access to Instagram, 29% women have access to internet. With these facts, what is the point of awareness on the topic like menstruation. There will always be restriction because majority of women do not have access to internet, so anyways the information wont reach to them.
Why not have products that are economically friendly or affordable for women in India? If the demand is high, the product cost can be cut down to the limit where everyone can access sanitary napkins. Also products like reusable sanitary napkins, which cuts down the cost so that it can be easy affordable for every women. How many sanitary napkin brands do you know about? Whisper, Stayfree, Sofy, She, Don’t worry, Kotex, Carefree, Bella, Health Buddy, and Miss n Mom are some brands I am aware of. 10 brands selling menstruation products, and still the crisis exists… Ground level work has to be done. Affordable product has to be introduced, awareness on grassroot level where the need is high, these efforts can help reduce the numbers of women hygiene issues in India.
Because no one should die if they don’t have access to a basic health product.