Menstruation is a natural, normal part of a woman’s health cycle. But for many women who live in underprivileged areas, it can be the dreaded times in the entire month. Though man has moved from apes to the mobile wielding technical giant of today, there are some taboos which hold their place in cultural practices even in this digital world. And the taboos on menstruation have not even spared developed countries such as Australia.
Society and cultural practices around menstruation have in face created weird trends. These are the same trends that cause gender inequality to lack of jobs for women. The negative aspects regarding menstruation, can affect the girls’ mentality, lifestyle, emotions and health.
Now shall we look at some of the simple myths regarding menstruation?
1. In Japan, Rarely Will You Find Female Chefs
You can find the endangered fish species in the menu of a hotel in a Japan, but it is very rare to find a woman chef. As per the good old tradition, women were excluded from the cooking field in the cooking field because of their periods. The reason given was – during the menstruation cycle, women can create imbalances in mixing ingredients, and taste of food.
2. Girls During The Menstrual Cycle Cannot Attend Classes In Nepal
A practice that has to be thrown to the graveyard, as soon as possible. The country passed the law against this practice prior a decade, but the tradition of shame exists even today. Known as the Chaupadi tradition, it involves the seclusion of menstruating girls for days. This practice is still prevalent in Nepal.
The girls are forced to live in sheds or dark rooms in the period. In case, the cow sheds or rooms are not clean, they can develop life threatening illnesses.
3. The Menstruation Time Is Still Considered A Secret
In countries such as Malawi, a discussion on the menstruation topic is considered a shame. Puberty-attaining girls usually depend on their aunts to get information on designing of fashion pads from old clothes. And there is also the inhuman practice – the girls should not converse with boys during this time.
4. In Bolivia, Mixing Sanitary Pads With Trash Can Lead To Outbreak Of Cancer
How bizarre can a myth go? Like the title? In this country, girls are told by parents and even their teachers that throwing of their sanitary pads to the garbage lot can lead to a cancer epidemic.
So the school going girls cannot dispose the pads and have to keep them in their school bags. Then they have to go to their home to get rid of the sanitary napkins.
5. Pollution of Food
India is well-known for its folklore and traditional practices. But in some primitive areas, girls and women cannot step in the kitchen during their menstrual cycle. It is opined that they can spoil the food just by a meager touch.
So what are the common rituals usually followed everywhere?
Women are kept in secluded places during their menstruation. They should not prepare food nor enter religious places.
What Are The Challenges Girls Face During Their Menstruation Periods?
In villages across developing countries, many girls face the shortage of safe, clean lavatory facilities. The lavatories are usually filthy, situated at the back of the school. They are used, because of no other alternative. In some villages, the Government School has no toilets. Girls who attained puberty and attended school had to make shift within the fields or behind trees.
Just imagine, concentrating on studies will be impossible for the girl, who wants to change or dispose her pad. In a very short time, girls will get depressed and tired of dealing with the situation. It is during these times, their families will encourage them to stay at home to fend for the elders and force them to get married.
Girls leaving school is a concern for the entire world. Educated women stay in the best of health, give birth to healthy children, earn more and definitely play an active role in their country’s development.
There are persons who denounce these rituals as unhealthy, inhumanitarian practices against women. However, instead of just opposing the superstition, it is advisable to first understand the reason behind the following of such rituals and address the main cause. This method will be more helpful to eradicate slowly the practices in the future.
In some countries and primitive areas, changing the negative taboos about menstruation can take generations. But, usually, it has been noticed, that the girls who do not believe in the superstition are those only with educated mothers. So, the best way to change is to make girls attend school in villages, small towns and primitive areas. The most important, their basic lavatory facilities should be met.
Is There Hope?
There are some persons such as ArunachalamMuruganantham who took it upon themselves to change the tradition. Even though ostracized by his own family, he developed a simple low cost effective sanitary pad for poor women. Have you seen Akshay Kumar’s recent film,PADMAN? It is a biography set on the life of Arunachalam.
It is also heartening to see that some countries such as China, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea have stringent laws to offer women sick leave in their menstruation period.
Please note that the next article will be on home improvement services.
We hope that this article on taboos of menstruation have exterminated the common misconceptions. Have we missed any point? Feel free to put a Review in the comments section.