On Menstrual Hygiene Day, Minister of women and child development, Smriti Irani called for menstrual education. She called for not only girls but also boys to be a part of this education. She insisted menstruation is not a matter of shame. She wants youth to be aware of menstruation and not consider it a taboo conversation.
“Affordable sanitary napkins have been made available through all Jan Aushadhi Kendras thereby ensuring #MunstrualHygiene for millions of Indian women. On #MHDay2020 let’s commit ourselves to educate not only girls but also boys that menstruation is not a matter of shame”, Smriti Irani tweeted.
Ministry of Health as well as tweeted that “Awareness generation of menstruation and menstrual hygiene is the need of the hour. Let’s ensure women’s health by promoting safe menstrual hygiene practices.”
National Family Health Survey 2015-2016 estimates that of the 336 million menstruating women in India about 36 percent of women in India have access to sanitary pads or are using sanitary pads. Another statistic shows, only 48 percent of the adolescent girls in India are aware of menstruation before they start menstruating.
SheThePeople recently did a story about young women in Jharkhand who were forced to use cloth and in some cases, even leaves and hay. The lockdown made it worse for those who didn't have shops or rations that supplied them with pads or menstruation cups.
Madhulika Khanna, of Georgetown University has done a detailed paper on connecting education levels to menstruation. She says menarche (first instance of menstruation) can be a daunting experience that changes a girl’s life dramatically. "The notion of ritual impurity of menstruation is best depicted by taboos and cultural practices that continue to define women’s daily activities"
There is a need for us to stop the culture of period shaming. Bleeding, and menstruating is something natural and to normalize this there is a need for us to educate both the genders about menstruation as much as possible.
Shreya is an intern with SheThePeople.TV