#PeriodPaath: Importance Of Better Menstrual Hygiene Management

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My name is Akshat Pratap Singh of Indirapuram Public School, Indirapuram.

Prevention is better than cure”. We all must have encountered with this quote once in our life. Small but effective words. Once i was reading my science textbook in class 9th with full concentration and suddenly my father appeared asking what I was reading? And I replied ‘menstruation cycle and it’s management’. He surprising replied ‘you are very lucky to be reading about this because back when I was of your age, my book didn’t had this important topic’. From then this thought is stuck in my head that in our country like India which has the second largest population with all kinds of people, how many people would be there who wouldn’t know about this important thing that women/girls in adolescence period faces. Mensuration cycle is a biological process of ovulation and menstruation in women and other female primates. This is an very important process which a women faces and we as mens should provide love, care and support to our mothers, sisters or any women in our family. But what about the one’s both men and women who don’t know this that this process really occurs in a lifespan of a woman and of significant and important this process is? An another important term associated with mensuration cycle and the on which this essay is based on is Mentrual Hygiene. It is a process or way in which a women can use a clean material like sanitary pads to absorb or collect menstrual blood to prevent period related problems like Abnormal uterine bleeding, PMS, PMDD, Oligomenorrhea, Amenorrhea etc and stay safe. Before coming to importance and solutions, we must know the problems related to it and know the multiple challenges women and adolescent girls face in this process. Some of them are:-

  1. Lack of sanitary materials, including underwear.
  2. Lack of private female friendly toilets and bathing spaces.
  3. Lack of knowledge on mensuration.
  4. Anxiety and embarrassment around leakage and discomfort.
  5. Overcrowding and severely diminished privacy.
  6. Cultural taboos and restrictions related to MHM.

These are some of the problems listed above which even makes more sense on understanding the importance and solutions regarding this problem. I know it’s very easy and simple to talk or write about this but to understand the pain and the real pressure women face due to this is very hard. According to me “The one who faces a problem actually knows the problem better than anybody”. Now coming upon to the importance of menstrual hygiene management. The goal of menstrual hygiene management is to ensure that women and girls can manage their periods in a way that is not only healthy, but that enables their full participation in school, work, and other activities. Because at its essence, menstruation is about reproduction. Due to MHM, women can work with their full potential even when they undergo periods and can stay healthy. Now discussing the solutions to the problems that I have listed above is very important. Some solutions are :-

  1. Growing Individuals Knowledge – Mensuration is normal biological process. Body development in girls. How to deal with it. Taking a help from doctor, family, friends.
  2. Knowledge about Material Environment – Materials to absorb or collect Menstrual blood. Private and clean facilities to change an dispose material. Facilities for body hygiene. Pain management etc.
  3. Social environment – Enabling and encouraging that Mensuration is normal. No taboos or myths. No restrictions.
  4. Spreading Awareness – Through campaigns, tv advertising, publishing articles etc.

I think women have proved to be a very important resource for development of nation and we must do support women through this problem. Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated on 28th May and we should all celebrate this day with pride and dignity because if there is no woman then there is no us.

Thank you

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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
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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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