It is amazing how a natural cycle in all women throughout human existence has caused so much stigma and shame to millions and millions of girls and young women. In some cultures, it causes a total transformation of the young woman’s life.
In some parts of the world, it is synonymous with physical maturity, which allows parents to promote early marriage. In many other cultures, it is synonymous with shame. The innocence of childhood is left behind to give way to a life of work and physical and sexual abuse.
The transition from innocence to the harsh reality
Perhaps it is due to the hermeticism that is lived in some cultures around the subject. Formal education is out of reach of so many people around the world, but the subject has not ceased to be taboo. Shame continues to tarnish menstruation as something dirty, something that sets you apart from a discriminated sector of society.
Many girls prefer to hide the fact that they have had their menarche or first menstruation for a long time since many will be forced to get married, wear a new outfit or simply many will have their sexual organs mutilated.
Poor access to better intimate hygiene
The high cost of sanitary napkins and feminine hygiene products opens the way to new alternatives for many women, either because of the embarrassment of having to buy them in places where men are present or because of the low purchasing power of many women.
Ecological pads and reusable panty liners with great absorption have become a better option for many women. Women have found a better option for the problem of protection and absorption in their menstrual cycles.
Reasons for social struggle
Social activists fight every day to normalize within society that menstruation should not be a sign of shame for any girl or woman and there are plenty of reasons to want to achieve better conditions for women.
- Many women prefer to suppress their menstrual cycles so as not to suffer shame, mistreatment, or discrimination.
- The menstrual cycle is the beginning of a woman’s sexual and reproductive life and does not have to be feared. On the contrary, there should be as much information and help as possible.
- Menstruation should not be the reason for a girl to be forced to marry and procreate.
- Women should not feel ashamed of the natural process of their bodies that allows them to be mothers. Something that brings them joy should not make them feel ashamed.
- Unrestricted access to intimate hygiene products, obtaining diverse options of free choice.
It is very difficult to see a woman in the street with her menstruation stained, walking without shame, without being pointed out, mocked, or assaulted. The day this happens without being called an accident, we could say that society has changed its way of seeing what is natural as something strange and shameful.
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