Why is there a silence, what’s the mystery?
Why can’t I be me? Why do I have to bend on my principles and keep a natural process, a secret?
The process where a woman’s body discharges blood from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from puberty until menopause, except during pregnancy.
The term ‘menstruation’ is not something out of the box. It exists in the daily lives of women and is a basic phenomenon which later helps in the fertility or in the reproduction of a child. The society believes in this stigma across the globe. Somewhere girls are prohibited to enter a temple, avoid touching pickle, miss out on school during those days and some are even deprived of sleeping on a bed to avoid staining it.
Menstruation is not just a ‘girl problem’, it’s a societal and national issue. During this process, many girls are not allowed to go to school. Many are restricted within the four walls of their homes and expected to handle daily chores, that too outside the kitchen. This has led to many girls to drop out of schools. When we exclude a girl from attending school it ultimately hinders her academic progress which later impacts her financial security and her contribution towards the national economy. With every 1% increase in the proportion of women with secondary education, a country’s annual per capita income grows by 3%. Closing the unemployment gap between the adolescent girls and boys would result in an up to 1.2% increase in GDP in a year.
Condemning such discrimination is not just required of girls because boys must be the agents of change too. This stigma starts at a young age – when to talk, how to talk and what to teach. It is the need of an hour to understand that this generation is capable to deal with the fact that a majority of young girls and women bleed for five days every month.
Till today, in parts of rural India, women cannot water plants or cook during their period as it spreads “uncleanliness” which will spoil and contaminate the food.
The bottom line is to spread awareness and educate the society irrespective of one’s caste, gender or creed. It is an obstacle which is holding back the progress and development of a woman, and it needs to be busted.
It is important to empower and acknowledge women’s capability rather than prohibiting their presence due to such myths. Together, we can create a better world where girls believe periods are not shameful. Let us make a difference, spread the word and educate the society.
The change can only begin when there is acceptance amongst the people. Menstruation is a matter of hygiene too. Due to unawareness, in some parts of country women still use cloth or dry soil to soak the blood during their periods which is a health hazard.
A bleeding woman is not a sign of taboo, it is a natural process which happens to every girl. Then why is there a shame to talk about it? Why can’t they discuss it with the men in the house? Why can’t it be discussed on an open platform? The traditional approach of silence will never help the society to work in unity to spread awareness. A bleeding woman is treated like a goddess and it is celebrated as an occasion in the parts of Assam. I feel this is also an unconventional approach to limit her only for reproduction.
A country like India which is progressing at a high pace is still missing the subject knowledge and awareness on issues like menstruation. It needs help in the form of clean toilets and sanitary napkins, the whole subject of menstruation has been put under the head of sanitation, when in fact it has to do with sexuality and childbirth. There is a dire need for sex education in schools and an open and frank environment where girls find it easier to talk about issues surrounding their periods. Boys must also be taught to break the barrier and initiate a step to do away this stigma.
Only when we speak up and raise our voice will the world change.