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Monday, July 22, 2024

Menstrual Taboos: Moving Beyond The Curse

The menstrual taboo also significantly impacts mental health. The shame and secrecy surrounding menstruation can lead to feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. This can be particularly true for young girls experiencing their first periods, as they may feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss their experiences with their peers or parents. The stigma associated with periods also affects gender equality. In many countries, menstruation is viewed as a women's issue and is therefore not given the attention or resources it deserves. This results in a lack of research and funding for menstrual health and can also limit access to education and job opportunities for girls and women.

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By: Dixita Baruah

Despite being a natural and normal biological process, menstruation continues to be a taboo topic in many cultures worldwide. The shame and secrecy surrounding periods have far-reaching consequences, including limiting access to education, healthcare, and basic human rights. A few days ago in Maharashtra’s Thane district, a tragic incident occurred where a 30-year-old man killed his sister. The sister was experiencing her first period, but her brother mistakenly believed she was engaged in a physical relationship with someone. A 12-year-old girl lost her life simply because her brother lacked education about menstruation. One of the main reasons for this taboo is the widespread belief that menstruation is dirty or impure. This misconception has its roots in ancient religious and cultural beliefs that associate menstruation with sin, shame, and uncleanliness. These attitudes persist today, leading to discrimination and stigma against menstruating individuals.

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One of the most visible consequences of this taboo is the lack of access to menstrual products. In many countries, the high cost of sanitary products, coupled with the stigma surrounding menstruation, means that many people do not have access to these essential items. This can result in health problems, including infections and diseases, and can also limit access to education and employment opportunities. Another consequence of the menstrual taboo is the lack of education and information about menstruation. Many girls and women grow up without understanding what is happening to their bodies, leading to fear, shame, and confusion. This lack of education can also give rise to myths and misinformation about menstruation, such as the belief that periods are caused by sexual activity or that they can be stopped by using certain herbs or teas.

The menstrual taboo also significantly impacts mental health. The shame and secrecy surrounding menstruation can lead to feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. This can be particularly true for young girls experiencing their first periods, as they may feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss their experiences with their peers or parents. The stigma associated with periods also affects gender equality. In many countries, menstruation is viewed as a women’s issue and is therefore not given the attention or resources it deserves. This results in a lack of research and funding for menstrual health and can also limit access to education and job opportunities for girls and women.

Finally, the menstrual taboo also affects individuals who do not identify as female but still experience menstruation. Transgender and non-binary people who menstruate may face additional discrimination and stigma due to the perception that periods are solely a “women’s issue.” This can lead to a lack of access to appropriate healthcare and support, and contribute to feelings of gender dysphoria and isolation.

In conclusion, the menstrual taboo is a widespread and harmful phenomenon that impacts millions of people worldwide. It restricts access to essential healthcare and education, perpetuates gender inequality, and can have severe consequences for mental health. To address this issue, we must break the silence surrounding menstruation, challenge cultural and religious beliefs that perpetuate the taboo, and ensure that all individuals have access to the resources and support they need to manage their menstrual health. (The author is a student of Cotton University, Biotechnology Department)

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
Welcome to The Hills Times, your trusted source for daily news and updates in English from the heart of Assam, India. Since our establishment in 2000, we've been dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to our readers in Diphu and Guwahati. As the first English newspaper in the then undemarcated Karbi Anglong district, we've forged a strong connection with diverse communities and age groups, earning a reputation for being a reliable source of news and insights. In addition to our print edition, we keep pace with the digital age through our website, https://thehillstimes.in, where we diligently update our readers with the latest happenings day by day. Whether it's local events, regional developments, or global news, The Hills Times strives to keep you informed with dedication and integrity. Join us in staying ahead of the curve and exploring the world through our lens.
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