TURBAT: Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated on 28th May, every year, in order to create awareness about MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) globally and to change the social norms related to it. Many societies across the world associate menstruation and its related health concerns as a taboo and maintain an overall culture of silence around the topic. This undermines the self-esteem of women and girls as lack of sanitary hygiene products limit participation in society, especially in school. Menstruation is a natural phenomenon and indicates a girl has reached puberty. However, in our country, and many other developing countries, it is associated with various myths and restrictions which are born out of a lack of awareness among adolescent girls and the older women who pass on these traditions. Insufficient and inappropriate menstrual hygiene practices are the cause of stress affiliated with menstruation, as well as diseases, including reproductive tract infections. Moreover, attaching the idea of shame to a discussion on the topic has made women more vulnerable to diseases and problems related to reproductive health. On this Menstrual Hygiene Day, comprehensive health education programmes should be conducted across the country to eliminate various misconceptions and taboos. They should also target older women in order to ensure correct knowledge is passed on from the elder generations to the younger ones.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2019.