Menstrual hygiene day is celebrated annually on May 28 to bring out the need for good menstrual hygiene management worldwide. It was started in 2014 by a German-based NGO WASH United. Every year on the 28th of May volunteers around the globe conduct rallies, exhibitions, workshops, give speeches to break the taboos created by society regarding menstruation, and spread awareness about menstrual hygiene management.
Menstruation has always been a taboo amongst females and as a result, the problems related to it were never highlighted. This initiative by WASH United deserves appreciation for giving light to this monthly vaginal bleeding and defining the importance of menstrual hygiene management.
Menstrual hygiene management is making sure that all females are using and have access to menstrual products to absorb or collect blood and also, they have a facility to dispose of it. Menstrual hygiene is amongst the 6th highest overall need and it’s very necessary to work on it. Despite its seriousness, there is no limelight to it.
It is really sad to know that 500 million women worldwide lack these facilities. They are unknown to the fact that improper menstrual hygiene can lead to major health issues like urogenital infections, yeast infections, fungal infections, cervical cancer, and the list goes on. In India, a large no of girls is exposed to reproductive tract infections (RTI) because of poor MHM.
Menstruation is amongst one of those women's issues that face so many social and religious taboos. These restrictions are the results of gender inequality and poverty. There are millions of girls who are not even aware of what menstruation is! And whenever they start menstruating, they don’t have enough knowledge regarding menstrual hygiene.
According to a report by the National Family health survey almost 62% of young girls in India use reusable cloth instead of safe methods like pads, tampons, or menstrual cups. The reason for this was that either they find pads too expensive or they are shy to ask for them, Whereas 42% of women didn’t know about sanitary napkins or other products. Menstrual hygiene management is a part of a developed society and developing countries like India should tirelessly look into this.
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is something to talk about as girls and women in across the globe are facing daily challenges regarding MHM. The majority of school-going girls either do not have proper disposal facilities in their school or they don’t have access to menstrual products because of which they don’t attend a school or take a leave from school during periods. Not only this, according to a 2014 report 23 million school girls dropped out of school because of the lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. In short, poor menstrual hygiene management is one of the reasons that act as a barrier to education for many girls.
Further, women in many developing countries like Africa are facing challenges as they do not have clean water or adequate toilets and sanitation facilities. Every 3/4 of women even lack access to soap. Private toilets are also necessary as many women demand privacy during periods. Even girls from developed countries like the United States are unable to afford menstrual products.
To improve Menstrual hygiene management, one should first start talking about it. It’s crucial to publicize MHM to abolish the taboos linked with it. Secondly, educating both females and males about it. Many girls face stress and anxiety after their first period, so a school must guide them about this topic.
Besides, males should also be informed about mensuration which will help them understand the process and can support the movement. Every woman and girl should have access to low-priced feminine products and various campaigns should be conducted to inform them about it as well. The government of each country should remove or lower the taxes on these menstrual hygiene products and most importantly work on sanitation and clean water.
Disposal of menstrual waste should not be neglected as improper disposal leads to many environmental risks. There are no proper disposing facilities in developing countries however developed countries have such facilities but due to improper management practices, there is no awareness regarding this. Government from each country should work on the disposing facilities in schools and other areas
There should be free distribution of menstrual products in schools and villages. Toilets should be designed concerning a woman in schools and public places. Government and non-Government organizations should make sure that each female is aware of the consequences of improper menstrual hygiene.
Menstrual hygiene should be promoted everywhere for the safety of females. Those 5 days have their difficulties and the lack of menstrual hygiene management makes It more challenging for them so it’s time to work on it. In my opinion, education Is the best method, schools should participate in this campaign and provide full knowledge about it.
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