For quite some time, I have seen that we keep talking about menstruation as if it is something unholy or very bad. Since the days of old, we have been keeping mum over this very important issue. In many cases, neither do we speak about it nor do we let others speak.
We belong to a culture where openly talking about ‘sex’ or ‘periods’ is still a taboo – and we can see this in the lack of sex education due to which our population ‘proudly’ reached the mark of 1.34 billion last year.
And what about the lack of knowledge on periods? What has this shortcoming caused?
Let us start with education. We all know how important education is in the present day. Education not only provides us knowledge, it also helps us achieve a position/status in society. It makes us capable enough to be able to sustain our lives on our own. It provides us the strength to not bow down to someone – and it also enlightens us about our rights. I have heard many such cases where a woman is treated rudely and also has to suffer brutality, because she is totally dependent on her husband. Education provides the most important attribute we all need in our life -self-confidence.
You may be thinking what education has to do with menstruation. Well, there is a direct link. In 2014, the Dasra report Spot On revealed that in India, 23 million girls drop out of school annually due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities. According to this report, there is a serious issue regarding the availability of sanitary napkins and awareness about menstruation. It really jolts when I consider the fact that a significant number of mothers with menstruating daughters consider the process as dirty.
Therefore, we need to educate a large number of people about menstruation and its logistics. Otherwise, in the coming days, we will be left with nothing but regret. Just imagine your younger sisters dropping out of school just because their menstruation cycle has started! Why is this issue still a taboo in India? This ‘adversity of thoughts’ actually hampers the development process in our country.
A few days back, the CBSE class 12 results were published – and the top three ranks were held by girls. Simply by giving them a chance, we can see how India’s girls are leaving behind their profound and remarkable impact. But, what if this whole fairy-tale comes to an end just because of some orthodox thought process? Would it be justified to the women of our nation? The answer is an emphatic no! We need to talk about menstruation, we need to tell people about menstruation – and most importantly, we need to break myths about menstruation. I do not want to see my sister’s dream destroyed just because her elders have ‘Baba’ Adam’s thought-process. We are a developing nation – and we can only be fully developed when we can provide equal opportunities to all.
We have talked about how the idea of menstruation itself hinders us from developing at an increased pace. But, what about the effects of unhygienic menstrual conditions? Menstrual hygiene is as important as any other thing. Many a time, we hear about women suffering due to their use of unhygienic cloth (instead of a sanitary napkin). Using a cloth (which is often dirty) leads to one or the other kind of infection, which can in turn, infects other parts of the body. The worst-case scenario here is death.
Clearly, I wouldn’t want to see my younger sister die just because of the orthodox mindset we have. It is the time that we unveil the knowledge about menstruation to the common people. Let’s start talking about menstruation!
Featured image used for representative purposes only.