Menstruation Hygiene : A Brief Guide

How to Fight Premenstrual Syndromes (PMS)
June 16, 2017
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Girls are not in their most comfortable form during menstruation like in other days. Either pains, mood swings or the risk of meeting accidental embarrassment are some responsible factors. Compounding to it are those stereotypes which may ask them to stay in dark or not participate in any religious activity or kitchen preparations etc.

It is absurdly true that how a girl manages her menstrual hygiene is directly dependent on her economical status. Girls in urban area are aware of general hygiene like “changing Sanitary napkins every 2-5 hrs, drying cloth napkins in bright sunlight, using clean water, soaps” etc. Females with all such facilities available have not seen the real problem.

Let’s illuminate that section of feminine society who actually faces the real challenge with no access to basic facility of washroom, sanitary napkins, sufficient amount of water, cleaning agents. Living in a city or village too makes a difference. Cities have electricity available for more hours than in villages, commuting modes, luxury of ACs, accessibility of all amenities add to comfort. Girls really don’t need any explanation on “how these secondary factors can contribute to their comfort in those days?

There can be either of two problems in menstrual hygiene management:-

  • Unawareness
  • Unaffordability

First one can be overcome by educating but unfortunately second one comes in a package with the first one.

To make this saying true “success is the sum of small steps” lets initiate with small steps only.

Be a woman helping other women.

How many times have you donated sanitary absorbents to any poor in need? If not then be the first one to trigger this trend in society. Indeed a woman can only best understand the need of other woman during those days. These small steps could be:

  • Do not hesitate in sponsoring at least one poor girl in need. It is not as expensive as sponsoring education or meals.
  • Sometimes buy an extra packet of sanitary napkin for some homeless female, if possible with some basic cleanliness kit. (Skip or replace with your donation at temple, God would not get annoyed at it)
  • Where there’s a will there’s a way. If cannot afford to buy one then old soothing cotton clothes can be turned into homemade napkins for someone in need.

Women empowerment through Swachh Bharat

Amongst various initiatives taken by honourable Prime Minister Mr. Modi keeping women hygiene safety in mind are:

  • Funding women self-help groups especially in slums.
  • Building sufficient toilets throughout the country (certain corrupt officers have caused loopholes in the form of poor construction or no water supply at places which needs scrutiny).
  • Set of guidelines issued in menstrual hygiene management which includes educating, providing basic facilities, proper disposal of absorbing material and accessibility etc.

Even after these guidelines the problem persists in rural areas whereas in urban areas too awareness is not 100%. Through posters, documentaries, advertisements and nukkad nataks importance of hygiene can be spread.

If Patanjali products can get tax exemption then why not on sanitary pads too when around 70% of women in our country can’t afford to buy them.

The figures of a report in 2012 by UNICEF are highly upsetting.”90% women are unaware of importance of sanitary pads & around 87% women use old clothes or rags” such factors contribute to lower their self esteem.

It’s not easy to take initiatives but more than that is to monitor their progress regularly & overcome the loopholes.

Society to break stereotypes

Saraswati, living in a village of Uttar Pradesh, while menstruating was not allowed to participate in her own house during a religious ceremony considering that she will make the whole ceremony impure. Due to inheritance from generations the wall of stereotypes has become very strong. This problem was only severe in villages but now when village people are migrating to cities so it is prevalent in cities also. A teenager in a village was badly beaten by her mother only for not getting periods in a specific month. It is important to understand that there can be hell number of reasons for not getting periods on time.

Menstruating women are ridiculously instructed with superfluous statements “to stand aside”, “don’t touch it”, “not to visit temple”, “discussing it with anyone is a taboo”,” you are impure now” even “no school because you are grown up now” in various regions.

When women are taking a stand for themselves in sports, technology, politics and various other fields it then gives a warning to community to get out of such traditions & believe only in scientific facts related to menstruation. It is not a problem but is part of that process which brings in the next generation. When God has empowered a woman it becomes the duty of humankind to respect & provide ease to menstruating women.

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