Quick Byte: It’s About Time We Normalise Periods

A lot of times, I see a strange reaction on people’s faces when I use the word ‘periods’ comfortably, just like any other normal word. I believe period is a normal process for every woman. What is there to be so shy about it?

I never understood their strange reactions. I see many parents hiding this truth from their children and creating fake stories related to periods to make their children believe in it. Why do they want to hide this reality? Isn’t it better to teach them and explain everything politely? Also, in today’s generation, everyone knows these things via television or the internet or their textbooks. It is better to teach them wisely and normalise it, instead of hiding and making it like a deep issue.

Traditionally, periods were treated like a big issue and back then, women had to sit in one corner of the house, but things have changed now. Mindsets have changed to an extent, yet in some rural areas, and even urban houses, it is still treated like a big issue.

Sanitary facilities are a must for hygiene and health. Many women still prefer to use a cloth which may cause infection. Yes, there are other options available like sanitary napkins, but women don’t use them giving their affordability as a reason. And, the risks of infection persist.

Let’s unite and educate those women that spending on the right thing is far better than spending later on doctors. Let’s be free and make normalise periods. Let’s try and free their minds of this taboo.

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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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