In India where menstruation is still considered a taboo and women are subjected to social prejudices and stigmas endlessly, the significance of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, which was celebrated on Tuesday, increases manifold.
With this thought in mind, Muskan, a team of female residents of Crossings Republik conducted an awareness session on “Menstrual Hygiene” for female domestic helps working in the township at Gaur Global Village on Tuesday.
The session not only aimed to create awareness on menstrual hygiene but also tried to erase the stigma associated with it.
Around 50 women from neighbouring village, Dumdahera, who work as domestic help in the societies of Crossings Republik participated in the event.
"The issue of menstrual hygiene is rarely discussed because of the stigma attached to it. There is no awareness regarding this topic and a lot of times young girls are misinformed, because of which a huge number of them get infected and later suffer from serious illnesses," said Sangeeta Singh, a member of team Muskan.
Speaking at the event, Sangeeta said, "We informed women about various aspects of maintaining hygiene like using sanitary pads. Otherwise, use clean clothes but it should be changed twice in a day to maintain hygiene.”
The team also taught the participants a different way to use clothes as a substitute for a sanitary pad. "We have roped in an NGO that works towards the empowerment of women. They have worked on the idea of using clothes as a substitute for sanitary pads and taught the participants on how to make a pad from cloth," Sangeeta added.
The team also touched upon stigmas attached with menstruation. “Period is still a tough time for many women in India as they encounter several superstitions such as staying away from kitchen and holy places. These are myths and we explained them that menstruation is as normal and important as breathing."
“However, many women were still hesitant and approached us with their queries after the session. Many women invited us to conduct this session in their village as well,” Sangeeta said. “Overcoming any stigma is an uphill task but we will keep doing our bit,” Sangeeta concluded.