The answer is a big YES. ‘Period’ is a word that is still regarded as shame in India. There are very few people who talks about it without hesitation. Although Sex knowledge is started being included in Education system but still period is not a part of Education system. Most of the boys even don’t know what this is. This type of ignorance make this normal process a shame and disgust. It’s not like only boys don’t know about this period it’s the same case with girls too. According to a report around 71% of girls in India, don’t know nothing about Periods until they experience it. In India another worse thing is superstitions, which regards periods as something impure, like in period’s days; girls are advised to stay away from worship places or kitchens.
This topic is taken because of the current news that Scotland has become 1st nation to provide sanitary products free; it is the same country which has recently became the 1st nation to provide sanitary products free in schools and universities. It’s really a big step in the way of reducing Period Poverty.
A question might arise what is Period Poverty? It is the inadequate availability of menstrual products and education, and is one of the biggest barriers in working towards menstrual education, hygiene and equity in India. It is the non availability of napkin facilities, waste managements, hygiene factors etc. There is also one problem related to this that is menstruation impacted due to malnutrition among women. Not all women menstruate, like in third world war countries there are many women who are impacted due to malnutrition and India is not an exception.
Period Poverty in India
An initiative was made by the India to exempt service tax on sanitary napkins but, it has not impacted much the condition of women. As per the report of the Indian Ministry of Health, only 12% of girls have exposures to proper period products and rest have to depend on unsafe materials like cloth, hay, sand, ash etc as only alternative available but these alternatives are very bad for their menstrual health. Using all these alternatives can cause many bacterial diseases. The other problem is that many girls usually take off from their work, school, and universities during their periods because of the fear of social stigma, embarrassments, isolation and inaccessibility of period products and this is counterproductive for their work and education. It has also been shown by a report that 1 out of 5 girls dropout the school after their menstruation cycle starts. Problems, like lack of proper washroom facilities, separate washroom for girls and boys in Government schools, increases their problem.
It’s high time, as generation is changing there is need to come out of this taboo. Period is natural process and every girl deserves to be provided with everything necessary for their menstrual health. It should not be treated like by having periods, girls has committed a crime or that she is untouchable. These days are not easy for all girls, some have to go through a lot of pains and in that phase they need love and support and not isolation and stress. Now it is required for India too to do something like Scotland. Being worlds‘s second most populous country whose almost half population consists of girls and women, it should do something to provide every girls sanitary products because it’s not possible for all girl to afford them.
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