Menstrual health management
In the communities where we have been working, there are cultural taboos associated with menstruation. Menstruating women were not allowed to go to the temple or perform certain religious duties. Also, there was an overwhelming sense that menstruation was dirty and had to be kept hidden. The project has been working to break these taboos and share important information on menstrual health.
Every day at 4:30 pm, Mamta returns home after a day of tea plucking. A bright smile on her face, she stops to chat almost on every doorstep she passes. “They all know me,” she says. “I talk to all my neighbours about sustainable menstrual health management practices. And they often come to me for advice…” Mamta is a Peer Educator in her village and has undergone training and workshops on menstrual health management as part of our WaterAid partnership.
“I have personally learnt so much from these trainings!” she exclaims. “I think the biggest learning has been that so many women’s problems like excessive bleeding, cramping and white discharge can be so easily treated with medicine — if only women would talk about them openly! I feel my biggest job has been to normalise talking about menstruation and reproductive health problems in my community!”
Thanks to Peer Educators like Mamta, more women have a greater understanding of menstrual health and have the confidence to speak up about any problems they may be facing.
All photograph credit: WaterAid/ Ranita Roy