Menstruation Poses Major Roadblocks For Rural Women and Girls
Menstrual Hygiene Day is marked on 28th May all across the world. Despite the fact that it is as normal as any other biological function of the human body, it is still regarded as a stigma that is brushed under the rug and not addressed openly. Due to the lack of education, rural women feel humiliated and unclean discussing the monthly cycle, which is responsible for ovulation and reproduction.
Today, even in 2022, cultural and social influences on people make it difficult to provide proper education about menstrual hygiene to adolescent girls. Let’s take a look at the challenges which they face during their menstruation cycle.
What are the main challenges that rural people experience during menstruation?
Limited access to information- As per recent studies, only 48% of adolescent girls in India are aware of menstruation before getting their first period. Young people lack accurate and reliable knowledge about their reproductive health and rights. Mindsets, conventions, and the shame associated with menstruation frequently hinder women from receiving the menstrual health care that they require. Their parents, teachers, and other community members are hesitant to discuss periods. Due to a general lack of factual information concerning menstruation, myths and misconceptions abound.
Limited access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities- Menstruating women and girls in India frequently experience barriers to getting menstrual hygiene products due to scarcity of sanitary products, poverty, and social conventions. Many rural women are compelled to use leaves, wood husk, paper, etc. instead of menstrual products while they are on their periods.
Social barriers- In rural areas, people are still socially stigmatized during their periods; their movement is limited, they are regarded as impure, and they are not permitted to enter buildings of worship or the kitchen. They are put in a position of anguish, pain, and tremendous distress due to these unfriendly social settings.
Associated risk of diseases- Lack of education, menstrual hygiene management (MHM) facilities like clean toilets, water and disposal bins, force women to clean and dry reusable menstrual hygiene devices in filthy conditions. This might raise the risk of developing period problems like heavy blood flow and irregular menstrual cycle. It can also turn into more severe health conditions like cervical cancer, Reproductive Tract Infections, Hepatitis B infection, various types of yeast infections, and Urinary Tract Infections as well
What steps should be taken to eliminate these roadblocks?Innovative and sustainable government policies should be undertaken and implemented to make MHM accessible or free for those living in poverty or low-income groups. Free sanitary napkin distribution and MHM's inclusion in the Swachh Bharat Mission are key initiatives to be taken by the government. Free health and medical facilities, and sensitization drives are much-needed interventions. Young girls should be educated about treating period problems like cramps by using natural remedies, such as Rosa Period Potion or Rosa Period Pain Relief Oil.
Menstrual health is critical to a woman's overall health, as well as the health of her family and community. Let us all do our part in creating and sustaining menstrual health awareness because healthier and happier menstruators make a happier society.