Menstruation or period is an integral part of the normal life cycle of every woman. Although the matter is normal, people’s attitude towards it is not normal yet. It is undeniable that safe and hassle-free menstrual health is necessary for teenagers.
A study by government and non-government organizations found that 9 percent of school-going girls in rural areas and 21 percent in urban areas use hygienic pads. And overall, 6 percent of teens use old dirty clothes. Research has shown that there is still a lack of awareness in the society about women’s menstrual hygiene.
The mentality of open discussion with family members on the issue is not yet formed in our society. It is the responsibility of the family, especially the mother, to inform her teenage daughter about this, as well as to create a conducive environment for educational institutions to play a conscious and sensitive role in this regard.
World Menstrual Hygiene Day is observed worldwide on May 26 to raise awareness and change the existing negative social issues related to menstruation. The day was started in 2013 by the German-based non-profit organization ‘Wash United’. Since the first celebration in 2014, the demand for this day has been increasing rapidly all over the world. The theme for the 2021 World Menstrual Hygiene Day is ‘We need to step up action and invest in menstrual health and hygiene now’.
We are now living in an age where all the information comes to the fore with a single click for the benefit of information technology. But even in this age of technology, we follow a variety of misconceptions about healthcare and cherish the idea. Our knowledge of an important and normal subject, especially menstruation, is not scientific in many cases. Misconceptions about menstruation by family members, not creating a safe environment (a secret and safe place for girls to change their clothes or wash clothes) and indifference make it difficult for teenage girls to manage their menstrual periods in many cases. Shyness and shame also have an adverse effect on a normal and natural thing like menstruation in the society of Bangladesh.
Hopefully, this long-standing issue will be changed through the simple, active and effective role of the family as well as various government, private and related individuals or organizations. Let’s be aware of this natural biological process without being embarrassed or ashamed, know the right information and stay healthy.
Md. Momin U Ahmed
Department of Law, University of Barisal