In India, only 12% of menstruating women have access to and regularly use sanitary napkins. The majority of women are forced to use rags, dirty pieces of cloth, dried leaves and even old newspapers as absorbents.
As a result of such unhygienic period health and other disposal practices, the risks on the health of women are extremely high. Risks include, but are not limited to, an increased chance of contracting cervical cancer and Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI) or Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
FORCE work in different communities in Delhi and outside the state has made it is very clear that the poorest of the poor are always the worst affected. Be it due to lack of knowledge or more complicated issues like that of religion, caste, or gender, there is a widespread sense of dirtiness with this natural routine. Such a situation pushes hard to keep the issue under wraps and far away from the purview of even a deeply-affected community.
Aiming to bring this issue to the limelight and get a discussion going, FORCE’s team has decided to dedicate a week towards getting such discussions fast tracked.
Starting on May 22nd, our team will focus on discussing the many topics under Menstrual Hygiene Management. This will be executed throughout 10 communities where we are currently executing our programs with the support of Water Aid. The discussions are aimed to not only educate community members, but also build a feeling of comfort and ease when discussing this ‘taboo’ topic. The discussions will focus on the following sub-topics:
▪ 1. What is menstrual hygiene?
▪ 2. Why it is necessary to maintain hygienic practices during menstrual periods?
▪ 3. Myths about menstrual periods
▪ 4. What are the best practices for menstrual hygiene?
To culminate the week, on May 28th, we are organizing a large-scale event to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day with all 10 communities. The goal of this event is to provide or directly make available a highly reliable source of information to the affected population, along with creating a space for the free flow communication — without any judgments and prejudices.
For this, FORCE will have a Gynecologist on board for the day. She will lead the conversation and answer each and every question arising from community members in relation to menstrual health and hygiene.
Venue: Harijan Basti, Vasant Kunj