Can period poverty be terminated?
Let’s start by reducing the stigma around the whole concept of menstruation and women having their monthly periods.
What exactly are periods? Menstruation cycle is nothing but the female body preparing itself for pregnancy. It’s a cycle of 21 or 25 days varies for each women, in which the female reproductive system releases an ovulated egg. This egg is released in the uterus. The thick blood, mucus and tissue lining of the uterus provides nutrition to the embryo in case of pregnancy. If the pregnancy does not take place then the egg along with the uterus lining is eliminated from the body. This is what causes periods. This process is extremely essential as it sign of a women’s good reproductive health.
Despite of its biological importance, menstruation is still a taboo subject. Women all over the world still lack access to proper period products, giving rise to Period Poverty globally.
Scotland has taken the first step against it by passing “Period products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act.” on Tuesday 24 November 2020. Originally this bill was put forth to the Scottish parliament by Monica Lennon, a Scottish Labour’s Health spokeswomen in 2019. She quotes, “This will make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls and everyone who menstruates. There has already been great progress at a community level and through local authorities in giving everyone the chance of period dignity.”
This nationwide programme will make female hygiene products available and accessible to every woman easily. This ensures that women from all walks of life will have happy periods.
On the other hand, in India and neighbouring countries menstruation is still a topic which is still spoken in hushed voices and totally avoided in public and religious places. In various countries menstrual products are considered products of luxury rather than necessity. Resulting in extra taxation on period products. There is a lack of knowledge related to periods amongst women of rural areas and even less have access to safe and proper period products, is the main hindrance in menstrual hygiene management.
In spite of massive success of big screen film like Padman, trying to raise awareness about periods and importance of menstrual products. Menstrual Products like Sanitary pads, Tampons, menstrual cups, etc. there’s still an air of awkwardness around them. Women still find it difficult to purchase these items without facing weird stairs from society. To normalise this here are some eye opening benefits of menstrual products everyone must know.
- They help women maintain intimate hygiene.
- Allows women to perform daily activities with great ease.
- Reduces risks of fungal or bacterial infections.
- Makes periods manageable.
- No risk of stains or leakage.
Period education needs to be mandatory in schools and colleges not only for girls but the entire student body spreading awareness and normalizing it. Menstrual products need to be provided free of cost to all the women. Schools and other educational should give easy access of period products to female students in campus.
These are the little steps that can be taken to reduce Period Poverty. Let us know your thoughts on this subject in comment section, also like share and comment.