How would you feel if you bled for a week straight with severe cramps and extreme irritation? Needless to say, your agony would surpass your tolerance level. Well, that's the reality a woman has to encounter during her period at least once a month. While a woman is in need of affection and support during this tough time, she ends up facing mockery and negligence from her male counterpart.
Men have stigmatised the concept of menstruation and it stems from the lack of proper knowledge and essential education on this very important issue. The stigma has reached such a level that a school-going adolescent boy mocks his female classmate if she gets period stain on her dress. Even adult men isolate menstruating women from their workplace a lot of the time for being “impure”.
Educating men and boys on menstrual health and hygiene management is the only gateway to drive away these taboos and ill practices surrounding menstruation. Men's reluctance to talk about period makes the concept more complicated and therefore we need to create active platforms in every possible sphere to discuss the basics of menstruation.
Regarding this, Tamanna Sharmin, a menstrual hygiene consultant and project coordinator, opined, “Family-oriented learning can make a huge difference to end the social stigma around menstruation. Also, combined efforts from the government and NGOs are needed for conducting activity-based learning sessions among school-going adolescent boys.” The large-scale participation in the educative sessions will definitely create wonders to ensure a better health and hygiene system for our women. Additionally, the awareness programmes will encourage men to have logical and sensible conversations around menstruation. Only then can we expect to abolish the age-old taboos and stigmas associated with menstruation.
Labiba Faiaz Bari is a contributor to The Daily Star.