There are around 120 million adolescent girls in India. Do you know that this proportion is roughly 10% of India’s entire population? A girl menstruates on average for five days a month, for 12 months a year till she reaches menopause in her 30s or 40s. Undoubtedly periods are normal and healthy as they constitute such an important phenomenon in the lives of women.
However, many women across rural and urban India still struggle to manage their monthly occurrence. Forget about the convenient and reusable menstrual cup, women don’t even have the slightest idea about what pads and tampons are. Sounds extreme, doesn’t it?
The great dilemma
The statistics for menstruation in India are staggering and dismal. About 66% of girls are unaware of menstruation before they have their first period; 88% of women who menstruate use unsafe materials like cloth, ash, or something even more horrendous, and what’s more devastating is a major proportion of girls and women still manage their periods without toilets.
Can you imagine that handling a normal physiological event is still a luxury for many women across India? Menstruation is a topic of taboo as well as it is influenced by socio-cultural norms.
No one ever tells women what they can use to absorb menstrual blood and how they can dispose of the material. Neither the schools nor the family members educate women about their menses in a healthy way.
Yes, there is a lot of information about reusable menstrual cups online. But when a girl faces obstacles in managing her periods, seeking information becomes the task of Goliath, Upon reaching puberty, still many girls drop out of school and suffer negative health effects due to lack of resources and education.
The solution is to break down what it takes for a girl to manage her menses in a healthy way. Menstruating girls and women need to be aware of both reusable as well as disposable methods available for managing periods.
Believe it or not, but negative and harmful period-related social norms can perpetuate a culture of negative attitudes and silence which needs to be addressed to ease the long-term repercussions.
Stereotypes must be broken and women should be aware of their own bodies because they start drawing conclusions on what they hear as rumors from their friends, family, or acquaintances. Periods are a sensitive topic and in order to facilitate order, awareness is imperative.
The bottom line
Women still feel shame in going to a medicine counter and asking for menstrual cup prices. Yes, they can always search the menstrual cup price on the internet, but in an epoch where women are still using a cloth to absorb their period flow, how can menstrual cups become the new trend.
The necessity now is about awareness. Women should be educated about how normal their periods are and why there is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, being a woman is all about pride and privilege and there must be nothing that contradicts this fact.