Lots of Indians  skipping school during periods: they can’t afford sanitary products.

Lots of Indians skipping school during periods: they can’t afford sanitary products.

Lots of girls are missing school during their periods because they cannot afford sanitary protection – The study said most of the girls remain absent in school for an average of five days a month during their menstruation. To mark the first ever ‘Global Menstrual Hygiene Day’ here, WaterAid, in collaboration with State’s Women and Child Development (W&CD) Department, UNICEF, National Alliance of Women (NAWO), AAINA and Doordarshan, organised a workshop celebrating womanhood as well as creating awareness on menstrual hygiene management at personal and institutional level.

[Wateraid: an international non-governmental organisation, focused on water, sanitation and hygiene.]

This is very alarming. We cannot put their future at stake, Poor parents often prefer their girls to stay at home during their menstrual period rather than buying them hygiene products- Said a journalist from Odisha.

23 Million Women Drop Out Of School Every Year When They Start Menstruating In India

In India, 23 million girls drop out of school early when they start menstruating and many of them end up facing acute health problems.355 million is the number of menstruating women in India, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the country’s population. Menstruation continues to be a subject of gender disparity in India. Myths about menstruation are largely prevalent, forcing many girls to drop out of school early or be ostracised for the duration of their menstrual cycle every month.

A 2014 report by the NGO Dasra titled Spot On! found that nearly 23 million girls drop out of school annually due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities, which include availability of sanitary napkins and logical awareness of menstruation. The report also came up with some startling numbers. 70 per cent of mothers with menstruating daughters considered menstruation as dirty and 71 per cent adolescent girls remained unaware of menstruation till menarche. A 2014 UNICEF report pointed out that in Tamilnadu, 79 per cent girls and women were unaware of menstrual hygiene practices. The percentage was 66% in Uttar Pradesh, 56% in Rajasthan and 51% in West Bengal.

Lack of Awareness : Lack of awareness makes for a major problem in India’s menstrual hygiene scenario. Indian Council for Medical Research’s 2011-12 report stated that only 38 per cent menstruating girls in India spoke to their mothers about menstruation. Many mothers were themselves unaware what menstruation was, how it was to be explained to a teenager and what practices could be considered as menstrual hygiene management. Schools were not very helpful either as schools in rural areas refrained from discussing menstrual hygiene. A 2015 survey by the Ministry of Education found that in 63% schools in villages, teachers never discussed menstruation and how to deal with it in a hygienic manner.

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