Menstrual hygiene is essential. It ensures that you can continue with your daily routine such as going to school or going to work. It can also prevent potential situations of embarrassment and in turn, make you feel confident about yourself and your body. In this sense, maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is important for your wellbeing and development.
To manage menstruation hygienically and with dignity, it is essential that women and girls have access to water and sanitation.
In India, girls struggle to go to school because of the lack of infrastructure, understanding related to their hygiene and access to modern sanitary products. 66 % of girl schools do not have functioning girl toilets. Girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20% of school days due to menstruation, many are ashamed to go to school.40 % of girls drop out ofschool due to the lack of functioning girl toilets.
Many schools do not support adolescent girls or female teachers in managing menstrual hygiene with dignity. Inadequate water and sanitation facilities make managing menstruation very difficult. The school girls generally described menstruation as a time of anxiety, embarrassment and discomfort especially at school, leading to low concentration in class.23 % of girls drop out of school every year due to a lack of menstrual hygiene facilities at school. Well designed and appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities that address menstrual hygiene can make a significant difference to the schooling experience of girls. If toilets are not clean, then students will fall ill and won’t be able to attend school.
Menstruation is a natural process, but in most parts of the world it is taboo and most people, men in particular, find menstrual hygiene a difficult subject to talk about.
Sometimes, young girls grow up with a limited knowledge of menstruation because their mothers are shy to discuss about the issues with them. Adult women may themselves not be aware of the biological facts or good hygienic practices.
Men and boys typically know even less, but it is important for them to understand menstrual hygiene so they can support their wives, daughters, mothers and students. If schools build functioning toilets for girls, it can be a first step for the hygiene. HEEALS helps girls, boys and even teachers to understand about girls’ needs. HEEALS helps to change the mentality by inform children on water, sanitation and menstrual hygiene so they can become an aware society. Dramas, stories, documentary films and games are some of the good communication tools using by them to provide the information they need.
By -Heeals Intern