Raising Awareness on Menstrual Health: NCW and SheWings Initiative on Menstrual Hygiene Day

▴ Raising Awareness on Menstrual Health
When women have access to proper menstrual hygiene products and education, they are more likely to attend school and work, contributing positively to the economy.

On May 28, the National Commission for Women (NCW), in collaboration with SheWings, hosted an event in Delhi to commemorate Menstrual Hygiene Day. The event aimed to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene among women and girls, highlighting the importance of education and open discussions about menstruation.

Emphasizing the Role of Parents

Rekha Sharma, the Chairperson of NCW, stressed the critical role parents play in educating their children about menstrual health. During the event titled 'From Menstruation to Menopause,' Sharma urged parents to engage in conversations about menstruation with their children, both daughters and sons. She shared her personal experiences from her teenage years, reflecting on how challenging it was to discuss periods with her parents.

"It was very difficult to talk about periods during our teenage days, and that is the reason I encourage every parent to talk to their daughters and sons about menstrual health and hygiene," Sharma said.

She recounted the secrecy surrounding her first period, revealing how she hid it from her family for two days before they discovered it. She emphasized that, back then, there was very little awareness about menstruation, and her family suggested using cloth, as her elder sisters did. However, Sharma insisted on using sanitary pads, highlighting the need for better menstrual products and education.

Breaking the Stigma

In her keynote speech, Rekha Sharma emphasized the importance of continuous advocacy and education to break the stigma surrounding women's health issues, from menstruation to menopause. She called for widespread awareness and robust support systems to ensure that women can manage their menstrual health with dignity and without shame.

Supporting Women’s Education and Economic Independence

Meenakshi Singh of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) supported the initiative, emphasizing the link between women's education, economic independence, and health. She pointed out that women play significant roles in both small businesses and leading companies, highlighting the need to educate and empower women for a better future.

"We support women's education and economic independence. From small businesses to leading companies, women are everywhere. We must educate and empower women for the future," Singh said.

Advocating for a Period-Friendly World

Madan Mohit Bhardwaj, the founder of SheWings, reiterated the impact of health on women's productivity. He advocated for creating a period-friendly world, stating, "A woman is more productive when she is in good health. Our effort is 'Healthy Woman, Healthy Family.' On this Menstrual Hygiene Day, our theme is 'Together for a Period-Friendly World.'"

Global Menstrual Health Challenges

According to UNICEF, 1.8 billion people worldwide menstruate each month. This group includes girls, women and non-binary individuals. However, many of them struggle to manage their menstrual cycles in a dignified and healthy way. This highlights the urgent need for global efforts to improve menstrual health education and resources.

Importance of Menstrual Hygiene Education

The event showcased the importance of menstrual hygiene education. Proper education can help dispel myths and taboos surrounding menstruation, enabling girls and women to manage their periods with confidence and dignity. It also promotes the use of sanitary products, which are essential for maintaining hygiene and preventing infections.

The Role of Schools and Communities

Schools and communities play a crucial role in promoting menstrual health education. By integrating menstrual health into school curriculums, educators can ensure that young girls receive accurate information about their bodies and menstrual cycles. Community programs can also provide support and resources, making sanitary products more accessible to those in need.

Government and Policy Support

Government policies and initiatives are vital in promoting menstrual health and hygiene. By funding menstrual health programs and ensuring that sanitary products are affordable and accessible, governments can significantly improve the quality of life for millions of girls and women. Policies that support menstrual leave and facilities in workplaces can also help create a more supportive environment for women.

Menstrual Health and Economic Productivity

Good menstrual health is directly linked to economic productivity. When women have access to proper menstrual hygiene products and education, they are more likely to attend school and work, contributing positively to the economy. Educated and healthy women can participate fully in economic activities, driving growth and development in their communities.

Addressing Menstrual Health in Rural Areas

Rural areas often face significant challenges in terms of menstrual health. Limited access to sanitary products, lack of education, and cultural taboos can make it difficult for girls and women to manage their periods effectively. Efforts to address menstrual health in these areas should focus on providing affordable sanitary products, education, and breaking down cultural barriers.

The Role of NGOs and Private Sector

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector have a critical role to play in promoting menstrual health. NGOs can implement grassroots programs to educate communities and distribute sanitary products. The private sector can contribute by innovating affordable and sustainable menstrual hygiene products and supporting awareness campaigns.

The collaboration between the National Commission for Women and SheWings on Menstrual Hygiene Day highlights the importance of menstrual health education and awareness. By involving parents, schools, communities, and government policies, we can create a supportive environment where girls and women can manage their menstrual health with dignity and confidence. This not only improves their health but also enhances their productivity and contributions to society.

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Sunny Parayan

Hey there! I'm Sunny, a passionate writer with a strong interest in the healthcare domain! When I'm not typing on my keyboard, I watch shows and listen to music. I hope that through my work, I can make a positive impact on people's lives by helping them live happier and healthier.

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