Can you imagine skipping school all because of your period? Yes, many girls can and have. Now imagine yourself in a developing country with unsanitary conditions. Ok, I get it, but gender inequality? I don’t think so.
Adolescent girls in developing countries miss schools for at least five days every month — 60 days in a year during their menstrual cycle due to the lack of access to sanitary napkins and unhygienic conditions at schools. Many of them fall behind in their classes.
In a story from Huffington Post:
This also leads to an increase in the dropout rate of middle and high school girls. Similarly, sanitary napkins are expensive to purchase and not easily available everywhere. In addition to that, disposal method is another problem as the generic pads are not recyclable. Most girls after reaching puberty prefer to stay home because rural schools do not provide clean water supplies and proper bathrooms. Therefore, girls fall behind in education which makes it harder for the society to achieve gender equality.
In developing and underdeveloped areas, the use of rags and cloths as an alternative to pads is a common practice. When the cloth is usually cleaned in between uses, it is not hygienic. The chances of contracting urinary or vaginal infections are also increased greatly.
Talking about menstrual cycle is also seen as a taboo in Nepal as well as in other parts of the world. No one talks about it openly as it is considered to be shameful. This is the main reason why little progress has been made even though numerous organizations have been working on the problem for decades.
Periods are also seen as a burden for the family. In Nepal, menstruating women and girls are considered untouchables and impure. They cannot attend religious functions, go to the temple or participate in household chores such as entering the kitchen. At this time, women typically have to sleep in a separate room while maintaining physical distance from family members. People believe that she will bring bad luck and make the gods angry.
Ok. I understand. Women in developing countries don’t have proper supplies, but that is NOT gender equality. Gender equality is about equal treatment for men and women. Huffington, are you telling me that sanitary napkins should be provided for men and women, when biologically we are different and men don’t need them? And since when do men need sanitary napkins, unless you’ve had a sex change…like Bruce Jenner ‘er Caitlyn. Come on MAN!
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