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TALKING ABOUT MENSTRUATION

28th May 2017

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Dear friends,

May 28th is World Menstrual Hygiene Day. The date 28/05 was chosen for its symbolism because the average woman’s cycle takes 28 days and includes 5 days of menstruation. This day, and the week around it, in fact, are used globally as a platform to discuss women’s access to menstrual hygiene and create awareness around menstrual health.

At the Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare, we invited Dr. Nidhi Sareen, Medical Superintendent of Parman and Hospital, to talk to our girls about menstrual health. These young women are training to work as allied health professionals, and Dr. Sareen and our team were highly impressed by how open they were to discussing menstrual health practices and social taboos surrounding this issue. Some common myths that were debunked in this session include not allowing women into the kitchen when during menstruation, telling them not to touch achaar, asking them not to exercise and forbidding them from entering the pooja room.

This session has really opened our eyes to this new generation’s willingness to talk about topics that have been shrouded in silence until recently, specially given the milieu many of them come from. While the girls’ frankness has been very encouraging, it is also heartening to note that the young men at the Academy were also keen to learn more about these issues, and it is also important for them to have a clear understanding. We plan to address the gaps in their knowledge as well.

The Academy is a space where our young women can be empowered not just on menstrual health but also on sexual health and reproductive rights. These girls are going to be our ambassadors for health and our ambassadors for change – do watch one of our students, Ritu, speak about gender equality and menstrual hygiene. We are eager to see the changes they will bring about in their homes and future jobs!

Warm Regards,
Tech Mahindra Foundation

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