Menstrual Hygiene was a taboo issue for decades in our society. But, for the last few years, different communities and some institutions working for women empowerment around the globe have taken the initiative to go out and talk to people and educate them about this phenomenon. Initially, it was found that not only men but a part of the females were also unaware of the facts about menstrual hygiene. In 2014, WASH United, a German-based NGO, which works to benefit bleeding persons, took a step forward to mark 28 May as Menstrual Hygiene Day. The major objectives behind marking any day as Menstrual Hygiene Day are to make people realize the hardships that women have to face during their menstrual cycle, to make awareness about different methods of hygiene that should be used during these days. It aims to provide a global platform for any movement working in the betterment of women and also focuses to engage in policy making for Menstrual Hygiene Management on global as well as local levels.
According to Water Supply and Sanitation Council, daily around 300 million women are menstruating, out of which, many lack access to safe and hygienic water and have less or no privacy for Menstrual Hygiene Management. A study conducted in India shows that around 42% of the women who participated in the study had no knowledge of the sanitary pads and most of them were scared during their first menstrual cycle. Globally, one in every three women does not have access to a proper working toilet.
Knowing the above facts, it can be seen that we still need to work to achieve good levels of Global Menstrual Hygiene. So, here are some of the steps you can take to maintain good hygiene during your menstrual days,
1. Take a shower daily and change your pads within 6-8 hours to prevent any infection.
2. Choose good sanitary napkins, those with sensitive skin should not use plastic lining pads as they can cause irritation.
3. Avoid using soaps or vaginal hygiene products, prefer a regular warm water wash for cleaning the private parts.
4. Do not flush used napkins as they can cause blockage in the toilets. Instead, dispose of them properly in dustbins to avoid any infection.
5. Always remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water after changing your pads.
6. Wear loose clothes rather than tight-fitting jeans to allow open air and to avoid sweating.
So, this 28 May, celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day by following the above steps and also by making others aware of the importance of Menstrual Hygiene and how it can be achieved.