Growing up in Indian society, we were always taught that menstruation isn’t a topic that can be discussed openly. It is something shameful, it is something that makes women filthy, and it is something which causes mood swings in women.
Knowingly or unknowingly, due to this shame and negligence, we are compromising the health of women in our society. Due to the prevalent taboos, menstruation is considered to be dirty and unpleasant. In many of the villages of our nation, people are not even aware of menstrual hygiene. It is still considered a ‘female problem’.
In many parts of our country, women are still using unhygienic products like wood shavings, dirty clothes and even leaves. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report for 2015-2016 says that 52% of rural females are still deprived of sanitary napkins, as are 22% of women in urban areas. It means almost one out of every two women in a village are still using unhealthy materials during their periods.
Most of the time, periods are accompanied by pains or cramps. Young girls under 15 living in rural areas often drop out of school because of this pain and the unavailability of sanitation facilities in schools. Consequently, they are married at a very young age, thus contributing to the uneducated population.
Taboos have made the condition even worse. Usually, women are ashamed of talking about with the male members of the family – sometimes even their husbands. Period blood is seen as impure and disgraceful. But ironically, we are all made up of the same dirty period blood.
So what is the solution for all this?
The first thing we can do as individuals is talk. Yes! We can talk about it. Talk about it like it is something very natural, instead of ignoring it. It is a natural biological process so talking about it won’t make you uncultured or disrespectful.
Men and women alike are all part of society. The government is trying to spread awareness using various campaigns but if we, as a society, will not cooperate, the government can’t make these campaigns successful.
And lastly, to all those who consider periods as impure, if that is the case, we are all impure because it was the same dirty blood which gave you nourishment for nine months.