May 28, 2024 - 22:55
Bhubaneswar (28/05/2024)/By: Social Worker Jyotirmayee Mohapatra): Menstruation is a natural process and women should be aware of the right menstrual hygiene practices and shouldn’t feel embarrassed or be ashamed about it.
Menstruation is still consider to be a taboo, therefore it’s shrouded in myths that can lead women to follow unhealthy habits.
Lack of education, ongoing taboos, and stigma cause poor menstrual hygiene.
Lack of access to clean menstrual products and bad sanitation also contributes.
These problems harm the education, health and social status of women and girls worldwide.
As a result, millions of women and girls face obstacles in the full potential.
It is important to maintain good menstrual hygiene to keep reactions and infections at bay. There has been an uptick in the last few years in the focus on menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) worldwide.
In India, MHH gained its rightful place in the public health discourse when the National Health Mission, 2011 promoted a menstrual hygiene scheme among adolescent girls in rural areas.
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is an integral part of the “Swaccha Bharat Mission” guidelines, the Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation also issued MHM Guidelines for school in 2015.
The concept of menstrual leave is an expansion of article 21, the right to life under the constitution of India.
One should not be expected to work during menstruation pains and the body being weak and vulnerable.
According to the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS-5), women between the ages of 15 and 24 years who safeguard themselves throughout their menstrual period with hygienic ways are 77.3% in India (urban 89.4%, rural 72.3%)The Survey also revealed that around 90% of women with 12 or more years of schooling used safe period products (locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups) .
Each year on 28th May menstrual hygiene day is observed to highlight good menstrual hygiene practices during period and to raise awareness about the importance of access to menstrual products, period education and sanitation facilities.
Menstrual Hygiene Day was initiated by the German Non profit WASH United in 2013 with a vision to create a world where no one is held back because they menstruate.
A world where they can manage their periods safely, hygienically and confidently , without shame.
The choice of May 28 for its annual celebration was not random.
It cleverly mirrors the average menstrual cycle of 28 days and the five days menstruation, aligning with May being the fifth month.
This year 2024 being the 10th year is observed everywhere with the theme “together for a period friendly world”. To manage menstrual hygienically it is essential that women and girls have access to water and sanitation, they need somewhere private to change sanitary pads, clean water for washing hands, and facilities for safely disposing of used napkins.
There is also a need of both men and women to have greater awareness of menstrual hygiene as well as ensuring period education.