This Women’s Day, Let’s Include The Men In Menstruation!

Period Paath logoEditor’s Note: This article is a part of #Periodपाठ, a campaign by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC, to highlight the need for better menstrual hygiene management among menstruating persons in India. Join the conversation to take action and demand change! The views expressed in this article are the author’s and are not necessarily the views of the partners.
One of the underlying reasons why menstrual health has been neglected is gender inequality. Representational image.

We at Sukhibhava have been working towards making menstruation a non-issue for six years now, and we have so far worked with more than 16,2,500 women and girls. We believe ending the stigma around menstruation and making people talk about menstruation like a normal biological process will solve the problem significantly by increasing the demand for information, products, health, and rights.

As we work with these women and girls and build a strong sense of confidence and agency to talk about periods, we learned that it is not just enough. These women and girls, who want to talk and address their needs around menstruation, are often not able to do it because unfortunately, the decision-makers in their school systems or homes are someone else, most often men. And, men do not want to engage in a conversation around menstruation. 

Most of the men we have spoken to do not know how frequently a woman menstruates. This is just one example of how little education men receive around one of the most natural bodily processes. One of the underlying reasons why menstrual health has been neglected is gender inequality. Think about it, would the world be so ignorant of menstruation if men were menstruating?

It’s high time we acknowledge that menstrual health challenges are rooted in gender equality and we have included all genders in menstruation.

Unequal power relations between men and women result in women’s and girls’ voices not being heard in decision-making within households, communities, and development programs. Therefore, addressing both the practical and strategic needs of women and girls related to menstruation and menstrual health requires comprehensive programs that target women and girls and men and boys. 

Men and boys influence women’s and girls’ experiences of menstrual health through many roles, including as husbands, fathers, brothers, students, peers, teachers, community leaders, entrepreneurs, employers, development and humanitarian practitioners, politicians, and policymakers. While it is necessary to reach men and boys across all these roles, we, at Sukhibhava, have started working with men and boys in some of the most marginalised communities across India. 

Over the next year, we aim to reach more than 60,000 men and boys in some of the most marginalised communities of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. We need your help to push this forward, support our campaign, it’s high time we acknowledge that menstrual health challenges are rooted in gender equality and we have included all genders in menstruation

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 2020, we are launching our one of its kind campaign where we are raising funds for the programs we do with men and boys on menstruation in the communities. The campaign is intended to include men and boys in the conversations around menstruation as the method to bring #GenderEquality.

How Can You Support Us?

You can also run your individual campaigns directly from the Give India page and become our brand ambassadors in supporting the fundraiser. For more information, head here: Sukhibhava Campaign.

Featured image for representation only.
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