Taboos and Myths surrounding menstruation (e.g. restrictions on entering the kitchen or temple, preparing certain foods, touching other people) make it difficult for Girls and Women to See menstruation as a natural phenomenon and talk about it. The negative impact of poor MHM is immense.
Following are some of the facts mentioned by Dasra in their report, ‘Spot on! Improving Menstrual Health and Hygiene in India’, which highlights exactly the problems that we are trying to work towards.
- 70% of mothers consider menstruation ‘dirty’, perpetuating a culture of shame and ignorance
- 8% of menstruating women in India use home-grown alternatives like old fabric, rags, sand, ash, wood shavings, newspapers, dried leaves, hay, and plastic
- 63 million adolescent girls live in homes without toilet facilities
- Girls are typically absent for 20% of the school year due to menstruation, which is the second major reason, after household work, for girls to miss school
- 70% increase in incidence of reproductive tract infections owing to poor menstrual hygiene