Home Event and Festivals World Menstrual Day 2021: Why We Need Menstrual Awareness Programs In Schools

World Menstrual Day 2021: Why We Need Menstrual Awareness Programs In Schools

It’s that time of the year again, folks!  World Menstrual Day – May 28th – is just around the corner and we have to raise awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene. We are aware it’s one of the topics that people prefer to shy away from, but at least once a year we need to look this bloody mess in the eye and talk about the important issues on menstrual hygiene. There is a serious vacuum when it comes to the significance of highlighting the pertinence of menstrual hygiene among women in India. Schools can fill this void by adding Menstrual Hygiene programs to their curriculum.  A study conducted last year by Everteen – a feminine hygiene brand-  showed over 51 per cent of women respondents claimed that Indian schools do not have adequate programs set in place to educate or mentally prepare teen and adolescent girls regarding the onset of menstrual periods. The study was conducted among nearly 7,000 Indian women participating from various cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.

In this day and age, where people still consider the discourse on Menstrual hygeine highly irregular and embarrassing to the extent that  42 per cent of women felt uncomfortable buying sanitary essentials from a shop or a chemist, especially with other customers around (the study found), it is hardly a surprise to learn that there is still guilt associated with the menstrual cycle.

The study revealed that nearly 60% of the women had no idea about the menstrual cycle until it came calling for them in their adolescence and even then they were quite confused about what was happening to them.

The survey also revealed that the role of doctors to deal with gynaecological problems related to the Menstrual cycle is significantly downplayed in many a household due to the shame and guilt associated with menstrual cycles. The study found that most gynaecological infection or problem such as UTI, rashes, foul smell or itching during or after the menstrual cycle are widely ignored.

Chirag Pan, CEO, PAN Healthcare, says, “Menstrual hygiene and wellness have been known issues in the Indian context. While there has been progress in recent years, it is imperative that we leverage our strength in the Indian value-based systems and inculcate the importance of good menstrual hygiene from the onset of puberty itself. Schools can and must play a pivotal role in bringing this paradigm shift through classroom education, awareness programs and focused infrastructure development.”

Starting Menstrual Hygiene awareness programs in schools can ward off ignorance on the subject and the taboo or shame and guilt attached to it. In the study, 87 per cent of women admitted that they had to hide or secretly take their sanitary product for a change.

If girls are conditioned at an early age and provided adequate tools to deal with all aspects of Menstrual hygiene, it is highly unlikely that they will have to suffer from serious gynaecological issues in the future. And even when they do, they wouldn’t shy away from seeing a doctor.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 17, 2021 06:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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