Fiza Banu, Misba Khanum, and Saira Shaik
10th standard, Citizen’s High School, Bengaluru
In our so-called ‘modern’ society women are still facing challenges of menstrual taboos. Why do most of the women feel embarrassed to speak about this topic? Some of the beliefs affect the women’s emotional state, life style, and hygiene.
We chose this topic because we ourselves have faced many problems during our monthly visit. We were not ready to accept these customs.
We surveyed around 20 women and girls who are our classmates, teachers and mothers in our neighborhood.
Our questions ranged from specific (e.g.: Why are you not allowed to enter the kitchen?) to more open-ended (e.g.: What do you feel about periods?).
Five women hesitated to speak while the others were responsive.
They genuinely believed that menstrual blood is impure and that they contaminate holy places. They said that during menstruation they were forbidden to do things like touching plants.
We conducted an awareness campaign. We spoke to our class-mates and the women in our neighborhood about the biological process of menstruation. We attended the workshop Kids Education Revolution where we spoke to many people about this topic. We also made an online project called Balajanagraha.
We wished to talk to boys as well regarding this topic. However, many boys were making fun of us, though we tried to convince them that it is a common process. We encouraged them to speak openly about menstruation as it leads a step forward empowering women.