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Today Is Menstrual Hygiene Day!

May 28 2022

Today Is Menstrual Hygiene Day!

Today is Menstrual Health Hygiene Day! I remember when I first came to India hearing so many girls refer to their periods by saying, “I’m down.” I come from a psychology background and didn’t understand this at first. I thought they meant “I’m depressed. I’m sad.” Once i learned that “I’m down” was colloquial for “I’m on my period” I knew that we must change the mentality around menstruation! Let’s stop saying “I’m down” as though it is a problem to be solved or a disease to be cured. Let’s say “I’m Up!” I’m UP because the Divine Creative Power is in me! We menstruate because we have the power of Creation within us. That is something to be UP about!

Along with changing our perception of menstruation, we must also change the logistics and pragmatics for menstruating women and girls. An average woman spends 7 years of her life menstruating! 7 years. We must ensure those 7 years are spent in a way that is healthy, safe and empowered.

Far too many girls learn about menstruation when they start menstruating. Far too many stay home from school while on their periods because they don’t know how to properly take care of themselves, or because they don’t have access to supplies, or because their schools don’t have toilets where they can take care of themselves during the day, or because the toilets don’t have doors….

We have a long way to go in bringing about a society where periods can be spoken about in normal unhushed tones, where questions can be asked and answered, where supplies are provided. It is time to break the silence and end the taboo for not only our sisters, daughters and mothers but for our entire society and community and for our nations and world.

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