One more year since the day was founded. The German-based NGO ‘WASH United’ planned the 28th day of May to be observed as “Menstrual Hygiene Day” for the first time in the year 2014. It aims to eliminate the taboos, stigmas and stereotypes that surround this social issue leading to establish the betterment of the situation of the girls and women globally. But the thing is that how much we have changed or are able to change ourselves and our mindsets? Whether such an applauding initiative by ‘WASH United‘ succeed to change our views and our way of a stereotypical behavior towards a bleeding girl? And what about hygiene? A girl is forced to believe that the period blood makes her impure. In India, menstrual blood is a curse that can even swallow a life!
Charity begins at home. If we really mean a change let us unwrap our pad packs from black papers and newspapers! This can be the first step for a bringing a revolution ahead. But irony here is, the ‘Menstrual Hygiene’ in India somewhere gets dominated by ‘Period Shaming’ that starts with whispering further ending up as a blame! As long as we are shy, we can’t cry! Go out, raise your voice and run your pens. This is a public matter needs to be discussed in wide range.
It was only Class 5, when I got my first period and realised what it really means to be a girl. I was so small to be considered and that day I cried a lot , cried of knowing nothing, cried of getting scared and cried of pain. And since then, when I am in my Hometown, my Dad brings pad packs for me always. Since, I am suffering from PCOD, my Dad accompanies me to my regular gynecologist visits too. And though I was very much small enough to realise everything before my period, but from the very first day of my period cramps, my Mamma told me, “Because only you are strong enough to bear this pain and this is one of the prides you bear” and this made the 10year old stop her crying for good and to make this confident girl to enjoy her every periods now.
Here listed some facts that we really need to look up and think twice:
• According to this report, 23% girls drop out of school after reaching puberty.
• Another report says that 50% girls in India knew nothing of periods until their own periods started.
• In a 2014 study conducted in India, the researchers found that as many as 42% of women who participated in the study did not know about sanitary pads or from where in their anatomy menstruation originated.
• According to The Rutgers study, 89% women used cloth, 2% used cotton wool, 7% sanitary pads and 2% ash during their periods. Among those who used cloth, 60% changed it only once a day.
The sexist ideologies surrounding this social issue discriminates a girl on their unique biological process and results to those figures mentioned above still in this 21st century. Whereas as of now to change the figures, we need to do a much more work starting from setting up a proper sanitation in every corner of the country to establishing proper menstrual hygiene and confirm a well and healthy reproductive health for every a single girl. Health has much more to deal with economic growth and development of a nation.
This report by ‘THE WIRE’ shows 14% girls reported menstrual infections and also listed there on the article that sanitary pads are either too expensive or unavailable for women in many parts of India.
But many out there, either individually or as nonprofits are doing as much as they can to break menstrual taboos providing the necessary knowledge and resources to those in need. But they just need a systematic support. The demolition of 12% GST from Sanitary Napkins is the most prior to be done first.
Featured Image: Internet