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Role of "Men" in Menstruation (Part-2)

Menstruation floats with a plethora of misinformation and misunderstandings. The culprit here is none other than lack of education and awareness. The stigmas stay deep-rooted in society as it remains hidden behind closed doors, wrapped up in newspapers and black bags. In my last blog, we talked about how the role of men in menstruation is vital to overcome the stigmas and taboos. The gender inequality prevalent in our society strengthens the cultural stereotype of menstrual blood being “impure or bad blood” So, how do we overcome this? Creating a dialogue with the non-menstruating community is the first step. Teaching about menstruation in schools and colleges not just to the menstruators but also the non-menstruators is very important. This will promote better sexual health, communication, decrease stigma and make them more empathetic. According to Fusion, only five states in the U.S. have made the deliberate decision not to tax tampons. It also points out that since sales tax varies from state to state, all 50 states would have to agree if the U.S. wanted to ban the tampon tax. Thus, spreading awareness about menstruation amongst all can help make better decisions in government roles as a better context and understanding for menstrual health will exist. Making the Non-menstruators a part of the Period Fight Once men get a good understanding and awareness of menstruation and menstrual hygiene practices, they would get empowered to act. The actions may be advocating for clean and private toilets, role-modeling or creating a period positive environment among the students, communicating care and empathy rather than disgust and shame, or even stitching pads for the women. Also, decision-making power for the health issues should be given to the menstruators themselves. The Implementation of Men in Menstruation

An extract from The Hindu, on their cover of Aval, an NGO working towards awareness of women’s issue- The group of men had gathered as a part of the ‘Men on Menstruation’ event, recently organized by NGO Dhagam in the city. The program aims to break the taboo surrounding periods by creating a dialogue between men and women. The men aren’t here to talk about menstruation but to listen and learn from the women. A key aspect of the discussion is educating the men on female reproductive health. “I never knew PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) was such a common problem among women,” says S Vijay Kumar, a businessman. Venkat Raman, another businessman, and father of a 16-year-old girl are particularly invested in the matter. The coordinators educate him on the healthy diet and lifestyle choices one should adopt to prevent PCOS. “For the first two years of puberty, the menstrual cycle is not regular, so you don’t need tablets,” Nisha assures a concerned Raman. We have a long way to go in this Period fight. So, let us come together and break the stigmas and Taboos together. This is a call for all Menstruators and Non-Menstruators to unite! Bibliography

Image: The Bridge chronicle

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