In India, there is generally a silence around the issue of women’s health – especially around menstruation.  A deep-rooted taboo feeds into the risible myth making around menstruation:  women are impure, filthy, sick and even cursed during their period.

A recent study by a sanitary towel manufacturer found that 75% of women living in cities still buy their pads wrapped in a brown bag or newspaper because of the shame associated with menstruation.

The biggest challenge women in rural find is the process of drying the pieces of clothes used for menstruation.  They could not risk putting them in the open to dry completely.  The result is that they never properly dry leaving a horrible stench.  The unhygienic cloth gets used over and over again.  Lack of water makes the cleaning process even more cumbersome and unhygienic

These practices constitute a serious threat to health.  It’s reported that at least one in five girls in India drop out of school due to menstruation.

Sithara Rajan