It's natural, PERIOD!


Menstruating is not a choice; it is something that happens naturally to every woman from teenage till they reach the stage of menopause. Yet in modern society, menstrual blood is the most hidden blood, least spoken of and never seen, except privately by women.

India has successfully completed the Mars Mission and is doing really well in all fields but menstruation is still remains a taboo. Sanitary napkins are still wrapped in paper and kept in bags. It seems easier to buy a condom than to buy a sanitary napkin from a medical store.

Children study about menstruation in biology classes in school but are shy to discuss it with their parents. Not only do men but women also hesitate talking about periods and sanitary pads but our PM, Mr Narendra Modi broke all taboos by speaking about it on India Day. PM Modi in his speech on India’s 74th Independence Day said,“This government has been always concerned about the health of our daughters and sisters. Through 6,000 Janaushadhi centres, about 5 crore women have got sanitary pads at Re 1”.

Dysmenorrhoea, or cramps and pelvic pain due to menstruation are the most common menstrual problem faced by majority people. Women with health issues like PCOD and ovarian cysts many tend to experience more pain. While the level of discomfort many vary from person to person, many schools, colleges and workplaces often avoid addressing this issue.

Recently, Zomato, a global food-delivery company based in India put a step forward and introduced period leaves. Talking about the new policy in a blog post, Zomato’s Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said, “At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth and acceptance. Starting today, all women (including transgender people) at Zomato can avail up to 10 days of period leaves in a year.”

As per UNICEF, 71% girls in India are not educated about periods until they have their first cycle. Last year and this year as well, UNICEF India and Post for Change, a nonprofit organisation founded by Dipa Khosla & Oleg E.H. Büller-Khosla teamed up on International Menstrual Hygiene Day. They ran a campaign by the name Red Dot Challenge to create awareness and help women embrace their body and not feel afraid or ashamed of this natural process. In this challenge people were required to post a photo of themselves, with a red colored dot in the middle of their palm.

A lot of campaigns are being run to educate people about periods and end the stigma around menstruation; we still have a long way to go. In 2018, India made sanitary napkins and tampons tax-free. This has been a small step towards women health and menstrual hygiene. After all, ‘Whoever claims that periods are a luxury clearly never menstruated.’

Happy Bleeding!

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