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Address The Stigma Madhav Menon

One among the many hurdles women in India face on a daily basis,  stigma against menstruation is a prominent obstacle. While the stigma itself dates back hundreds of years ago, it’s becoming more and more prominent in today’s day and age. Essentially when a woman is on her period, her body is considered to be impure and she isn’t allowed to enter temples, attend social events, and in some places is even made to sleep in a separate hut. So what exactly are some of the larger problems women face in relation to this stigma? Well for one, as it is a topic that is discussed behind “closed doors”, around 71% of teenage girls are unaware of menstruation until they get it in the first place. A serious problem needs to be addressed here and awareness needs to be raised as this is a necessary biological function, yet women are made to feel ashamed for it. Furthermore, sanitary products are expensive in India, especially for those below the poverty line.  Those who aren’t able to afford these resort to other mediums such as soil, newspapers, and old rags which can lead to various different infections down the road. The main contributor to this stigma is the idea that while women are menstruating, they are considered impure and are prohibited from continuing with daily tasks, this is however a mere superstition passed down from generations as there is no scientific backing proving that women are “impure” while they menstruate. It is high time that we as a progressing society and growing economy stop stigmatizing the natural biological function that half the population faces. The entire reason they are also mocked is because it is a process in which the other half of the population do not undergo, this does not logically make sense as there is no gain from mocking someone else for a biological process when in fact it exists for the purpose of releasing unnecessary tissue. I personally think that we should do something to ensure that sanitary products are at a price that every person in India can afford, it is not a luxury but rather a necessity and I also think that if we take individual steps to break from the stigma and realize that there is nothing impure, then I think we can progress as a society.

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