Menstruation, also known as “periods”, is considered a taboo in the 21st Century. I believe that menstruation is a gift from god.
According to a report by Dasra, nearly 23 million girls drop out of school annually because of a lack of adequate menstrual hygiene management facilities.
Often, we have turned our eyes away from issues related to menstruation and the lack of sanitization. A study suggested that 88% of women and girls in India do not have access to proper menstrual hygiene products like sanitary napkins, menstrual cups etc.
The research further records that these women prefer to use homemade alternatives like clothes.
As per the National Family Health Survey 2015-2016, out of India’s 336 million menstruating women, about 121 million (or around 36%) use either locally or commercially manufactured sanitary napkins, every month.
Sanitation issues have been suppressed for decades. A lack of attention to rural women’s health and hygiene by the mainstream media has kept the issue away from the attention of the public.
The idea of having “period leave” at the workplace was being openly debated a few years back. The good news is that a Mumbai-based organization has taken the first step and has decided to offer women leave on the first day of their periods.
Although there were many arguments advocating for period leave, there was no definitive conclusion.
We can still have a better India if the government enhances schemes, policies and awareness about the rural areas of India. To break prejudicial thinking, proper awareness, free education and a shift in mindset are required.
There is no shame in menstruating, so we must educate each other and build each other up! Let’s strive for it.