#PeriodPaath: Pledge To Make 5 Days Safe For Women

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the one to two weeks before a woman’s period Symptoms often vary between women and resolve around the start of bleeding. Common symptoms include acne, tender breasts, bloating, feeling tired, irritability, and mood changes.

Menstrual Hygiene is vital to the empowerment and well-being of women and girls worldwide. It is about more than just access to sanitary pads and appropriate toilets although those are important. It is also about ensuring women and girls live in an environment that values and supports their ability to manage their menstruation with dignity.

Globally, at least 500 million women and girls lack proper access to menstrual hygiene facilities. Several factors influence difficult experiences with menstruation :-

  • including inadequate facilities and materials
  • menstrual pain
  • fear of disclosure
  • inadequate knowledge about the menstrual cycle.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a major health issue affecting women and girls of reproductive age worldwide. Fifty-two per cent of the female population is of reproductive age at any given time.

School-aged girls in marginalised communities face the largest barriers to MHM, as many schools do not have the necessary facilities, supplies, knowledge, and understanding to appropriately support girls during menstruation. This negatively impacts their education and ability to stay in school. Furthermore, schools often have inadequate water and sanitation available, making menstrual hygiene almost impossible to maintain, causing stress and embarrassment for female students. Also, communities often hold local cultural beliefs or taboos related to menstruation that can threaten a girl’s physical and/or emotional well-being

  • In India, only 1 in every 2 girls have knowledge about menstruation before their first period. In Tanzania and Ethiopia, only 1 in every 4 girls know about it before their first period.
  • In Uganda, 1 out of 2 girls report missing one to three days of school per month due to menstruation.
  • In India, for 1 out of 2 girls, mothers are the most important source of information about menstruation, followed by friends. (MH Day 2019)

May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day); a day dedicated to bringing awareness around the vital role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in empowering women and adolescent girls worldwide to become all that they can be. The vision behind MH Day is a world in which every woman and girl is able to manage her menstruation in a hygienic way- in safety, privacy, and with dignity- wherever they are.

 

MHM is a critical component of reproductive health and an important entry point for adolescent sexual and reproductive health programming.

I request,government to support below goals to support the empowerment and education of women and girls through promoting healthy MHM:-

  • Factual information on MHM and puberty is part of the school curriculum and the capacities of teachers are built to teach about these issues with comfort.
  • Women and girls can manage their menstruation with normalcy and dignity. Taboos about menstruation are broken down and positive social norms around menstruation are built.
  • Women and girls need water and sanitation facilities that are safe, socially and culturally acceptable, and where they can safely dispose of menstrual products in order to manage menstruation in privacy and dignity.
  • Menstruation should not limit women’s ability to work. Employers should provide adequate sanitation facilities at workplace, including water, soap for washing and disposal.
  • Policies and quality standards promote safe and affordable options and dynamic markets for menstrual products. Sustainable, environmentally-friendly menstrual products and their disposal should be promoted.

Thanks

Mihika Sharma

Student:DPS -VIth-J

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A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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