“‘Aunty Red’, ‘Aunt Flo’, ‘Code Red’, ‘Leak Week’, just a few of the many names used to describe menstruation. Why are we ashamed of talking about a natural biological process?
Stigma around menstruation results in exclusion and discrimination of women/girls. In India, these taboos keep women and girls from going to school, touching water, cooking, attending religious ceremonies, and engaging in community activities. Additionally, it reinforces gender-based discrimination, perpetuating the idea that menstruating women and girls are unclean. Misogyny seems to be one of the oldest Indian traditions; combining this age-old tradition with the stigma and shame that women/girls are made to feel whilst menstruating, is truly disempowering.
Stigma and shame surrounding periods has not only adversely impacted women’s & girls’ human rights, but has also affected their health. Vulnerable women can be forced to use improvised, unhygienic materials that may cause leaking and infection, putting their health at serious risk.
Tampons and sanitary napkins, even though tax-free now, cost Rs.8-12 per pad; thus making female sanitary products a luxury for the nearly 800 million people who live on less than Rs. 150 a day (GlobalCitizen, 2019).
I support the Myna Mahila Foundation because they are empowering women in a unique way and visibly bringing about a change to improve women’s health and hygiene in India.”
Support Myna through Amrita at the Tata Mumbai Marathon as she ‘Runs Red for Myna’ and is also a Change Maker for Myna! What is Amrita doing? Click here to know more about Amrita’s goals for Myna at the Marathon 2020.