It took years before menstrual hygiene became a big enough issue to be studied as it relates to some girls missing school and lagging behind in their education. That says a lot. It has taken years to get “tampon taxes” removed in many areas of the world or even for women to get a menstrual day off work. Finally, society is recognizing that periods aren’t optional.
The menstrual revolution has opened a door for women to speak about periods in communities where talking about ‘the monthly curse’ is taboo. Speaking about this topic allows for women to express their needs such as requesting menstrual hygiene supplies that are reliable and safe and a space to clean up.
Over the last few years we have seen several types of menstrual cups, commercial pads, menstrual underwear, and tampons. These are things that make it easier for women to function effectively during their periods.
We have been working on menstrual hygiene issues since the year 2013 and what is baffling for us is that most of the backlash/ resistance we receive when we write or speak about menstrual hygiene is from women who are uncomfortable with discussions on menstruation.
I know how they feel as I had a very difficult time talking about menstruation because I was taught that no one was allowed to see my menses except me, and menstruation wasn’t a topic for polite company. I still have a slight discomfort about it, but it’s a necessary conversation. We cannot continue to pretend menstruation doesn’t exist. Talking about it has brought about changes that benefit so many women & girls.
Menstruation is not a taboo subject, its one that we must continue talking about. When it comes to menstruation, we still feel that teaching women and girls how to make their own reusable sanitary pads is the most empowering and sustainable method for most of our communities.
We are so convince of the above statement that we are heading back to Mpika to teach women in 5 villages about menstrual hygiene as well as how to make their own cloth pads! Help us meet our goals by donating money, time, resources or space on your social media pages for us to share our story.
A luta continua, vitória é certa!