“Never trust something that bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die” 

― Linda Kage

Women….It’s about Menstruation…Let’s talk about it….

The word “menstruation” is etymologically related to “moon”.  The terms “menstruation” and “menses” are derived from the Latin “mensis” (month), which in turn relates to the Greekmene” (moon). The menstrual cycle is the regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system (specifically the uterus and ovaries) that makes pregnancy possible. The topic “Menstrual” is not too weird or inappropriate to talk about. But in our society, it is the most hidden topic. It is believed that girl should not discuss this topic with others especially with the males. The basic norm of Menstruation in our society is that it should be hidden. Moreover, it is having different religious views too. As per the study, in the Hindu faith, menstruating women are traditionally considered ritually impure and given different rules to follow. During menstruation, women are not allowed to enter the kitchen and temples, sleep in the day-time, bathe, wear flowers, have sex, and touch other males or females. Women themselves are seen as impure and polluted and are often isolated as untouchables, unable to return to their family, for the length of their period.  In parts of Nepal local Hindu culture dictates that women leave their home to live in a secluded shelter during menstruation, an age-old practice known as “Chhaupadi“, this practice was banned by the Nepalese Supreme Court in 2005.As per the news report, recently, a 23-year-old girl GauriBayak was found dead by her neighbors inside the Chhaupadi hut (menstruation hut) at Achham district of Nepal. In Islam, a menstruating female is neither required nor prohibited from prayer nor performing other religious activities. Though now a day different awareness campaigns are taking place still in some remote places people are practicing all these in the name of religion, tradition etc.

Menstruation is nothing but a simple natural biological process like other processes take place in a human body; the difference is that it happens only in women. I wonder why girls are being treated in a different way when they are in their periods, why girls are not allowed to discuss it in public, is it because of only women bleed. Society must feel and realize that this is one of the reasons through which “we all are here”, life is being generated as this process makes the uterus and ovary get ready for the pregnancy phase. It’s the 21st century, we all are highly technologically developed but we are not able to change the typical thinking of a huge part of our society.Due to this, girls don’t want to share the problems they face for which different incidents are happening around the country. Many girls refuse to go out of the home. Only technology cannot develop a country, thinking should also be developed.In a number of countries, mainly in Asia, legislation or corporate practice has introduced formal menstrual leave to provide women with either paid or unpaid leave of absence from their employment while they are menstruating.

It is not a topic to be hidden. These things should be discussed. The guardians or the parents must take a vital role in the process. Once your child will get older, please try to make them understand so that they neither get embarrassed nor embarrass anyone. In schools, the authority can organize awareness sessions on Menstruation for the students.

In India, being one of the most religious countries around the globe, where Ambubachi Mela, the celebration of the yearly menstruation course of goddess Kamakhya, is celebrated. It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time stretch. On the contrary, when the same thing happens with house girl, she becomes unclean, impure. It is the time when girls need the care, love of dear ones but they are being separated from living the normal lifestyle.

During Menstruation, the most important thing is Hygiene. It is better to use Sanitary Napkin in lieu of old clothes and all. A study says “Only 12% of India’s menstruating women use sanitary napkins (SNs). Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like unsanitized cloth, ashes and husk sand. Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is 70% more common among these women.” As the girls are not allowed to disclose or discuss it in public so they feel ashamed of their periods, they do not clean their clothes and all properly, they are in a habit of hiding the things which lead to infection and sometimes to death too. This kind of incidents is taking places in our country and we are responsible for it. The day Girl will be able to discuss it without any kind of hesitation, these types of problems or incidents will be eliminated. Now a day, gradually the things are getting changed; different NGO’s are there who take initiative to conduct awareness camp on “Hygiene and Sanitary napkin”. Some of the Government plans to distribute sanitary napkins in a rural area for the girls but those are very less in number. To maintain the hygiene, napkins should be changed and disposed of properly. A huge percentage of BPL girl students become absent from school due to lack of toilets and napkins. The poor people cannot afford sanitary napkins because of their high cost. Many protests were organized to decrease the GST on sanitary napkins. The government must take this issue in a notice and do something for those 50% female voters.