Menstrual Hygiene Day
Over 23 million girls drop out of school every year in India due to the lack of access to menstrual products. It is shocking to see a natural biological phenomenon becoming a cause of unrealized potential and missed opportunities for so many girls. This menstrual hygiene day, let us internalize the theme of 2020, “It’s Time For Action!” and take steps to overcome this hurdle by understanding the methods and importance of maintaining proper menstrual hygiene.
Poor menstrual hygiene such as the use of dirty and damp menstrual cloth, not washing hands, using a sanitary napkin for over 4 hours, and sharing reusable absorbent pads leads to reproductive ailments such as urinary tract infections, fungal infections, rashes, cervical cancer, and many other health problems.
Lack of access to menstrual products and social stigma related to menstruation can cause feelings of shame and can undermine the educational opportunities and economic capabilities of women. This may lead to deterioration of mental health and feelings of inferiority.
How can we maintain menstrual hygiene?
- Keep the genital area clean at all times.
- Use safe menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary napkins, menstrual cups, etc.
- Change sanitary napkins every 4 hours.
- Wash hands every time a sanitary napkin is changed.
- Do not share menstrual products.
- Spread awareness to ensure cleanliness.
Other than maintaining health, there are many advantages to maintaining menstrual hygiene, such as woman empowerment. Keeping girls in school ensures that they get the same opportunities as their male counterparts and thus equips them with the same level of independence.
Activities are undertaken in India for maintaining menstrual Hygiene:
- 12% GST exemption from sanitary pads starting from 2018.
- Started in 1992, the government of Bihar still offers 2 days of period leave to women every month.
- Project Baala, with the help of volunteers, has distributed 20,000 reusable sanitary pads during Covid-19 and it will continue to distribute another 20,000 pads in the upcoming days.
- Paree, a brand that manufactures women’s hygiene products launched a campaign called #SheFirst and #PadsAreEssential pan India. The campaign aims to deliver sanitary napkins to as many women as possible during Covid-19.