Every woman, every month, goes through periods for 5-7 days. During those days, women undergo various period challenges that start from mood swings to period cramps. She goes through lots of discomforts during periods. As periods are associate with various myths, stigma, and taboos, society forces women to follow the myths and stigma instead of supporting women during periods. Such activities increase the challenges for women during periods.
During periods, women are not allow to enter temples. They are not allowed to enter the kitchen to cook food. Apart from these, they are not even allow to enter their room; instead, they are given a separate room where they must stay until the period gets over. Such discriminative behavior develops a negative attitude towards periods that encourages menstrual hygiene during periods. As periods are a sign of ‘dirt’ and ‘impurity,’ women feel shy to talk about periods due to which they won’t feel comfortable asking for a sanitary pad from a male shopkeeper. It again encourages unhygienic menstrual practices that include using an old piece of cloth, sandbags, leaves, and ashes instead of sanitary pads to absorb the menstrual flow.
Such practices put a women’s menstrual health in danger as they can give rise to various menstrual and maternal health problems. Being an essential part of society, women have the right to equality. But during periods, women go through different discrimination.
How to encourage women to be period proud?
The first and foremost step is to stop the discriminative behavior during periods by our society. It is only possible when there is an increased awareness about periods. There are many NGOs and organizations like Stree Sanman Pvt. Ltd helps create awareness regarding periods and end period poverty by installing Stree Sanman Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine and Stree Sanman Smokeless Incinerators in various locations. Secondly, there must be activities that will help change people’s mindset towards periods. It is possible only when people abolish all the myths and taboos related to periods.
It is essential to make period products readily available for women. Lack of period products during periods will force women to use other substitutes of period products. We have to make a society where people can understand the challenges women face during periods and help them during period days. We need to delete the thought that the period is ‘impure’ and allow women to do their daily tasks without following any myths. Such culture in our society will encourage women to be period proud. We need to create a community where periods are treated usually like other health problems.
Women have the right to be period proud because it’s a natural process of a female body. Like we human beings breathe, women menstruate every month, and there is nothing to worry about. Not allowing women in temples, kitchens and keeping them in separate rooms hinder the right to freedom. Not talking about periods problems impedes the right of speech and all these practices lead to discrimination of women during periods. Organizations like Stree Sanman are making endless efforts to end period poverty through its Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine to create easy accessibility of sanitary pads to women. When society changes its mindset towards periods, women will be period proud.