Latifa Akhter(Translated by Shanjida Nahar Priya):
If the cost of sanitary pads is low, then women will not have to compromise with an essential requirement. Whose good-effect will be in his mental health?
Women are born with some exceptional characteristics. Most of these exceptional features are physiological. And it is seen in different stages of life. Becoming a woman from childhood, having children and rearing afterward, a woman comes in a variety of changes in body and mind. Which brought her in different experiences step-by-step. And in these steps, she has to face many problems. And these problems arise for women’s personal interest.
The problem that a woman faces in the first step of passing to a teenage from childhood is the period. Although it is a normal process of growing up. Still, there are many taboos in religion and socially about it. At this time women are considered as impure since the beginning of creation. And why so finding the answer is controversial. It is a different thought that women can not get out of. Maybe it is not even possible. But in time of period, it has its impact on her mental health as well as on her daily life. It causes discomfort for both her body and mind.
A great deal of discomfort is dealing with the blood flow of this time. And it continues until the time of menopause. And the reality is you have to cope up with this time alone. And to handle it, the old clothes of the house were handed over. And in the middle-class family in the family of multiple daughters, old clothes are allocated as the best option. And washing these allocated clothes for preservation creates additional pressure in the woman’s mind. Sometimes her clothes got stains. It’s barely that this stain does not make a teen face a very embarrassing situation. “Stains on her cloth” kind of statement from society makes a woman confined at times.
At the time of a woman getting narrowed, the thing that gives her comfort is- sanitary pad. It not only save her from constraints but also from many kinds of germs. Women got released from unhappiness over the scheduled few days. Because of NGOs, government campaign and generous efforts of the production company, pads of lower price and higher prices has become women’s emergency partner. One day apart from the rich families, it also reached door-by-door to the lower class and middle-class families.
The price of the sanitary pad needs to be re-evaluated and lowered. If the price is low, it will have a good effect in the future. One may think about what better will happen with the reduction of some pennies? In this country, there are still some lower class families with multiple daughters where mothers ought to give her daughters used old clothes to handle the cost of the whole family. Yet in many families, to balance the household’s cost of the month sanitary pad is included in the list of unnecessary expenditures.
Many times this unnecessary spending increases women’s mental stress. During a child’s birth, women have to take additional mental stress. In addition to that, Caesarian blood flow is another pressure. Many have to cope with this for a long time. It becomes hard to take care of the baby in addition to her extra blood flow. Besides the unpredictable treatment of nature until menopause, many women have to face multiple gynecological operations in her life. At this time, sanitary pads become an essential part of a woman’s life.
The sanitary pad gives a little comfort during these uncomfortable, painful times. Women feel much comfortable using a sanitary pad, which keeps them away from different infections.
The question may arise, when the material was not there, women were still in control. It is 100% true. Women have been forced to carry out many things in life due to their physical appearance, yet they managed. These women are incarnations of absolute patience.
Once sanitary pads were limited to a certain status. As women from middle-class families, we have had trouble during the time of period. If we reduce the price, the troubles we may have left will go away from the doors of many lower-class, lower-middle-class families. This is not a luxury product. If we do not have subsidy on this essential item, we can at least expect a reasonable price of the product to reach the hands of many ordinary women like us. Otherwise, it will only make these painful episodes of many women more difficult.
To read the original article in Bengali, Click Here.
The writer is currently working as an Inspector at the Cooperative Department, Bangladesh. She has done an MSS in Sociology from the University of Dhaka.
Shanjida Nahar Priya is currently pursuing MSc in Economics from Jahangirnagar University. She is passionate about reading books, exploring new things and collecting makeup stuff.
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In the past few days, many in Bangladesh wrote against the decision on imposing VAT on the price of sanitary pads. (https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/no-vat-pads-1763809)
In the face of strong opposition from the business community and women’s’ rights group, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has exempted supplementary duty (SD) on raw-material imports of sanitary napkins and diapers to protect the local industries.