These days, women are challenging the boundaries and are planting flags across arenas. They are proving themselves equally competent, par with men. We are witnessing a social revolution where women are breaking stereotypes and are unveiling their “Ghunghat” just to challenge the inhuman motives that have kept them away from the mainstream for centuries. Let it be, #METOO revolution or Walk for the Pride, these days they have urged us to address the problems that were once considered to be Women’s issues. But even in this time of changing we often fail to acknowledge their progress that they gain bearing pains of Menstruation and still talking about menstruation is considered shameful and the hushness around problem seems to be so much accepted that people are chastised if they break it. Even though we talk about this we never address the problem of “Period Poverty”.
Period poverty refers to the challenge that many young girls are facing in order to buy menstruation kits due to economic fragility, lack of understanding, and inadequate hygienic standards. The majority of women continue to rely on unhygienic materials as a safer option to proper menstruation kits. As a result, they are vulnerable to illnesses and the threat continues. This has emerged as a barrier between the path of those millions of young girls towards their dignity and their self esteem. Thus it is extremely important to address their stereotypical mentality. Think of those young girls at school, unable to buy proper kits, how much humiliation they face, even though there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Period Poverty has snatched right to live with dignity from them.
Inadequate access to menstruation products and lack of awareness has been major impediment to progress toward menstrual equality. Menstruation has become not just a health worry, but also a financial issue for the majority of individuals. The exponential gap between rich and poor is also increasing which is also a major contributor to menstrual equality. High sanitary product prices,lack of proper information about their use, or the normalcy of quietness surrounding menstruation and associated stereotypic ignorance as a “women’s problem” are just a few factors that have exacerbated period poverty across the globe. The most major cause of period poverty is probably the menstrual taboos and misconceptions that still exist. School dropouts are ones who suffer the most severe consequences of period poverty. Due of social shame, loneliness, humiliation, and the inaccessibility of menstrual products add to it the fact that, even after all these years, menstruation products are still not affordable for many. Period poverty is also a major source of sickness and even mortality among menstruators. They are vulnerable to many deadly Diseases and infections as a result of limited access to menstruation products, lack of medical treatment, and poor menstrual hygiene.
Yes, political willfulness to shatter the stereotype is needed, as is the necessity to engage in talks that go beyond the gender barrier and take into account all elements and demands of menstruators. A need to build a movement that does not discriminate any disadvantaged group especially those who are from backward classes. Those in Government must make actual, quantifiable changes, and there must be a collective effort to demolish the prejudice and make services available at affordable cost. Period poverty must not threaten the basic human right that is to live with dignity and have a self esteem.
Blog by – Akarshak Bose