Tearing Down Menstrual Taboos: Divya’s Story
Divya is a member of the Durga Young Women’s Self-Help Group in Mohammedabad, Sultanpur district. Through her YWSHG, she has learned that health and hygiene are the foremost ways of fighting gender discrimination. A few years ago, there was no awareness regarding menstrual health and hygiene in her village, and used sanitary pads or clothes would be thrown away just about anywhere.
“But through our Young Women’s Self-Help Groups, we learned proper menstrual waste management,” Divya says. “Now we know the significance of a healthy diet and nutrition in our daily lives, and we throw used sanitary clothes inside a pot.” Once the pot is full, the waste is doused with oil and set alight. The holes in the pot prevent cracks while letting in air. Women and girls are therefore no longer compelled to hide used sanitary pads or clothes or sneak out under cover of darkness to dispose of them. Menstruation is no longer a taboo and girls do not hesitate to discuss how it is a normal bodily process and that there is nothing to hide.
“A healthy and happy period is everyone’s right and all taboos related to menstruation should be eradicated from society,” says Divya.