I was shocked to read that majority of girls in rural areas are only allowed to study until their menstruation starts. Most girls are deprived of basic education and skills because of a natural process which they have not chosen for themselves. They’re considered dirty and impure.
I remember meeting a girl in a small town in Gujarat – she was sitting outside her house and not touching most of the regularly used objects. This is not only the case in small cities or villages. This mentality is prevalent all over India.
My aunts ask me if I am ‘clean’ before handing me something from the temple. My grandmother still won’t allow me near a temple because of my period. I am educated and I live in a big city. I can’t imagine the situation of women in rural areas. They are considered impure and they don’t like discussing the subject. They’re not shy – they are ashamed.
I wish I could go out and tell them – it’s not a flaw. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is not your fault. I wish I could tell them how women in the world are riding the third wave of feminism and these topics have become more than just individual crises. Women make up half the world’s population. There are millions and millions of mothers, sisters, wives and friends.
Regulation, education, taxation, liberation – every aspect of our socio-political conversation is a step to begin this conversation. We should speak about it, we should be proud of it, we should break the taboo around it.
The most important thing to note here is that we should be the ones doing it. Because no one else will.