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WHY ARE WE ASHAMED OF MENSTRUATION?

Menstruating women are impure and so they should not go to temples during their periods - As absurd as this seems, it is a common belief in our country. Many such myths lead to taboos, which in turn result in discrimination against women. Hence, menstruation is associated with shame and people avoid discussing it.

What are these taboos and how do they affect us? To know more about, we conducted a Twitter chat today with experts - Nishtha Gautam, Goonj (NJPC - Not Just A Piece of Cloth), Menstrupedia and Feminism in India . Here are a few snippets from the conversation:

What are Menstrual Taboos

Menstrual Taboos in India

Nature of the issue

Effects of taboos

Gender discrimination

Why do taboos still exist

How to overcome taboos

Final thoughts:

We’re at the end of 2015. Do you think these menstrual taboos are still relevant in the world we live today? How best can we as society help people everywhere overcome stigma against menstruation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below and continue tweeting to us on Twitter. You can also write to us at jaagorein@gmail.com and on our Facebook page.

Disclaimer:

Views expressed here are of the author alone and do not necessarily represent that of the brand.

About the Author:

Nishtha Gautam

Nishtha Gautam is an Associate-Fellow at Observer Research Foundation where she works on gender specific issues in policy and governance. Apart from academic writing on culture, gender and military, her analysis pieces regularly appear in leading national and international daily publications like Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail (UK), The Caravan, India Today, Hindustan Times, The Pioneer, DNA, Mail Today, DailyO and web editions of NDTV and CNN-IBN. She also voices her opinion on national and international TV and radio broadcasts including BBC Radio, NDTV, CNN-IBN, Headlines Today, Aaj Tak. She is also a published poet and short story writer.

Feminism in India

Feminism in India is a social movement to learn, educate & develop a feminist consciousness among youth. It is required to unravel the F-word & demystify all the negativity surrounding it.

Goonj (NJPC - Not Just a Piece of Cloth), NGO.

Goonj (NJPC - Not Just a Piece of Cloth), NGO. NJPC is an initiative started in 2005 by Goonj (means an echo), a multi award-winning social enterprise. NJPC is focused on opening up the most taboo and ignored subject of menstrual hygiene: a female health hazard by involving the masses in generating an affordable cloth napkin. The NJPC programme is a nationwide intervention, which not only starts with providing a physical product but stresses more on changing practices, behavioural patterns, education and replication in the long term. MY Pad, Goonj's clean cloth pad is developed out of old cloth collected from urban masses. It is made with highly indigenous processes while also educating the user women to make it on their own.

Menstrupedia

Menstrupedia is a friendly guide to periods that helps girls and women stay healthy and active during their periods. With a team of passionate people pursuing an end-goal of building a menstrual friendly ecosystem, we focus on creating effective solutions and collaboration to address existing problems related to menstruation. Menstrupedia is a small but definitive step to shatter the myths, shame and misunderstandings surrounding menstruation for all ages.

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