Let’s speak up about our Period Stories

Opshori Nondona:

Menstrual hygiene is a really serious issue that needs to be highlighted more. Even still I see many girls around my age are laughing at this matter while the teacher is discussing it at the class. There’s still a taboo saying that Period Talks are Girl Talks and girls have to make sure that the male people in their lives don’t hear about these things. Growing up hearing these taboo most teenage girls think having a period is a secret thing in our society.

I remember one of my classmates saying how her mother buys sanitary napkins secretly and how her mother hides it from the male members of her family. I often hear many of my female classmates and relatives saying they are sick just to hide the fact that when they are on their period. But the period isn’t a disease which makes you sick. It’s a normal monthly cycle. I saw my classmates whispering and making fun of menstruation when I was in grade 5. I saw how girls hide sanitary pads still now. And to be honest I couldn’t relate to any of it at all. Because my father is the only male member in my family and we are so open-minded about our periods and everything. My baba brings sanitary napkins every month just before me or my sister is having our period or he asks if there are enough sanitary pads for us. I’m glad I grew up in a family where “Period Talks” are “Not Girl Talks”. And I believe it’s a really normal circle of womanhood, it can’t be a secret thing just because males can’t relate to it.

Every father, brother, and partner should be aware of Menstruation so that they can support their female members of their family on their period days. I was reading about Menstrual Hygiene Day recently and it made me realize I and my schoolmates’ have been struggling about opening it. To be honest not just me or my school mates’ but also millions of girls around the world don’t have the proper menstrual hygiene management in their family, school, or even in countries. My period flows have always been really fast and that’s why I have to change my pads a lot during my 2nd or 3rd day of the period each month.

And to be honest it was a nightmare for me. I read in an all-girl school and honestly, our school’s washroom facilities aren’t up to the mark for menstrual hygiene. It’s not menstrual friendly. I still remember how I used to have period stains all over my school pants just because I couldn’t change my pad in our school washroom. I have school 5 hours each day and while being in the period it used to be the worst 5 hours of my life. I just used to pray I wouldn’t ruin my uniform by those period stains. It’s not just me, I saw many of my classmates facing this problem every day. Then I thought if I face so many difficulties at my school then how do girls like my age in villages even manage it while being taught to keep menstruation a secret and being taught to use clothes instead of sanitary napkins?

I remember when I was in grade 6, we had a menstrual hygiene awareness campaign at our school where we had to do a survey by filling up a form. There were questions like what sanitary napkin do you usually use? How’s your period flow? How do you feel when you are on your periods? Etc. And I still remember I was the only person in my class who filled up the full survey. I wrote what sanitary pad I use, how my period flow usually is, and every other question. And I even asked them questions about menstrual hygiene for which some of my classmates made fun of at that time. I’ve always been taught to maintain really good hygiene especially when I’m on my period like taking a shower, using a pad properly, and packing the used pad before throwing it away.

Maintaining good menstrual hygiene helps you to have great mental health as well. If someone is facing difficulties with their period then she should consult a doctor too. Many of the girls my age don’t know about menstrual hygiene and the other precautions just because they can’t talk about it and there’s no one to teach them about it properly. My mother gives sanitary napkins to our domestic helpers too when she sees they usually use unclean clothes on their periods. I  realized a few things from these incidents that Menstrual Hygiene Management can’t be improved until we break the taboo that Menstruation is not a girl talk or a secret talk. It’s a Normal Talk. Whispering about menstruation needs to be stopped. Menstruation can’t be a taboo anymore. Just because of this taboo menstrual hygiene couldn’t be ensured.

Many women and girls still treat menstruation as a disease just because of a lack of knowledge.  Every year millions of girls miss school on their periods just because they can’t break the taboo, they weren’t taught to break it. Girls are fighting for their rights for a long time. And honestly, Menstrual Hygiene is one of our rights too. We just have to stop keeping it a secret talk. A period is not a matter of shame it’s a powerful thing. Society keeps it secret just because they know our period will make us stronger if we start talking about it.

So let’s start talking about menstruation and menstrual hygiene. It’s not a stigma or shame. Society still wants us, girls, to shut up, and not talking about menstruation is one of those reasons which keep us away from speaking up. Let’s speak up about our Period Stories. Our PeriodStories make us stronger, not weaker, it’s not a matter of silence but a matter to speak up, it’s not a stigma, it’s a glory, it’s not a secret thing, it’s an open thing. Period Stories are needed to be heard. So from now let’s speak-up about Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene. Our menstrual hygiene matters.

 

About the writer:

“I’m Opshori a 16-year-old student. Writing’s been always a great passion and a form for me to speak up and raise my voice about the matters which matter to me most. It helped me to express myself. I am very much interested in writing about gender equality, women empowerment, women’s rights, Feminism, etc. I love to write letters to the world leaders and Changemakers of the world about the issues I’m passionate about.”- Opshori Nondona

 

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