Let’s not break the stride!

Period poverty is the lack of access to proper menstrual products and the education needed to use them effectively. Owing to the economic vulnerability faced by women and young girls, especially those in the lower income category, Menstrual hygiene products can financially burden young people. It’s not limited to lower-class women. Inflation, availability of menstrual products, and access to clean facilities to change clean and dispose of period products are challenges every woman faces, irrespective of economic standing.

Period poverty is a prominent issue in achieving Gender Equality and has far fetching consequences than one can imagine. The social and economic effects of economic poverty are huge. In India, 1/5 of girls miss out on school because of menstruation. This Period poverty undercuts our fundamental Right to work and go to school. Menstrual hygiene is observed on May 28 to highlight the challenges women and young girls face during menstruation and raise awareness about proper menstrual care. Because the menstrual cycle is an average of 28 days, and People menstruate for an average of five days each month, the 28th day of the 5th month is selected.

The three key aspects of Menstrual hygiene

  • Sanitary products
  • Washing facilities
  • waste management

The solution to Period Poverty lies in focusing on viable solutions for these three aspects. Making Menstrual hygiene products accessible to lower-income women, Providing them with clean facilities to change clean, and Effective disposal management for Sanitary products will keep the young girls at school and empower more young women to stay at work during menstruation. Various stigmas and misinformation associated with menstruation that get entwined with culture do not make this journey easier. 

The menstrual cup is a very effective cheap, environment-friendly solution for tackling many of the above problems. It’s less known compared to sanitary napkins. Nearly 64.4 % of #women use sanitary napkins, 49.6 % use cloth, and only 0.3 % use #menstrualcup in India. Unlike sanitary pads, you don’t see many ads about Menstrual cups onscreen. So it’s less known.

Menstrual cups are very much affordable. The amount that’s spent monthly on sanitary pads is not small. Those who can not afford that stay away from school or work during menstruation. They miss opportunities just because they menstruate. Those who can afford sanitary pads spend an average of 300 Rupees a month on Menstrual hygiene products. Other menstrual hygiene products like tampoons cost even higher. Compared to these costly alternatives menstrual cup is a very much affordable solution. It has a very reasonable price tag and can be reused for years.

As per the report ‘Why India needs to move beyond disposable sanitary pads’ by Action Research and Training for Health, a woman generates around 14.1kg of nonbiodegradable waste in a lifetime. A woman who uses menstrual cups generates only 0.06 kilograms of nonbiodegradable waste. Considering that Nearly 64.4% of women in India use Sanitary pads every month, the amount of waste it generates would be significantly high. A menstrual cup can last at least 2 -5 years, replacing 2400 menstrual pads for a single menstruating woman. It can substantially reduce the environmental burden of Menstrual hygiene products.

People’s body types differ from person to person, and so is their experience with a menstrual cup. But a common consensus among menstrual cup users is its absolute comfort. Various menstrual cups of different sizes and shapes are available to cater to every individual’s needs. Finding the correct one might be a challenge in the beginning.

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Tampoons, menstrual cups, and such invasive solutions are received or accepted slowly by society. Due to Social stigmas and misconceptions, many people are apprehensive about using menstrual cups. Creating awareness about the menstrual cup and understanding how it works helps to get used to the idea of them. Reading about personal experiences using Menstrual cups also helps remove inhibitions and build trust in the product. 

Removal and insertion may be a challenge until you get familiar. Overall, it’s very comfortable and easy to use – that’s me speaking from my personal experience. Unlike tampons, it does not suck off moisture, so it’s healthier. Studies say that chance of leakage is the same for both pads and menstrual cups when used properly. It holds more and assures overnight protection. Many of the issues with Sanitary pads, like, Wetness, and bad odor, will not be there for menstrual cups since blood is not exposed to air. The cup forms an airtight seal. 

Moving to Menstrual cups is a lifestyle change. Adapting a completely new approach to managing menstrual bleeding is challenging. Removal can be messy, and it may take some time to get used to that process. It’s prone to discomfort till you get used to it. The need for a clean public bathroom is another common challenge for any menstrual hygiene product. 

In our stride to achieve gender equality, the Menstrual Cup is a significant reinforcement that smoothes out the differences. While this benefits every woman, it helps economically challenged women change to continue their walk toward education and independence. 

Hold no one back because they menstruate! 

Let’s not break the stride!

 

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