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Helping our daughters – and our sons – become period-positive

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Recently we visited Amigaz Fitness Studio for a celebration. As part of their celebration, they had arranged talks and some fun activities for women.

india events for childrenAs the conversation started, the initial reactions of women were pleasantly surprising. They embraced the topic of our discussion with open minds and seemed excited to begin conversing. As we started talking and sharing our presentation, one thing that stood out was the eagerness of moms about how to talk about menstruation with their daughters and more importantly with their sons.

We always encourage moms to raise good sons so the daughters can be safe in society and teaching them about menstruation is one of the important lessons where they learn to respect the female physiology. The facilitator shared her personal experience when she spoke about menstruation with her son in very causal way thereby making him explain that this is a natural process of every woman’s body. The point was well taken by the ladies present there and they seemed confident of discussing menstruation with their sons.

While they were talking about how to talk to their sons, there was a mom who was concerned about how should she talk about menstruation with her nine year old daughter. Considering that girls may attain Menarche any time between 10 to 14 years, she wanted her daughter to be period ready. By the time she spoke up, she had already made up her mind that that she would introduce her daughter to menstruation with positivity and would help her instill confidence in herself about her body and embrace this life giving process called Menstruation. She seemed empowered that she would not pass on any negative societal practices which in turn would give rise to feelings of discrimination or discomfort to her.

These two instances were significant during our conversation because we enabled women to shed their inhibition about menstruation and talk openly about it.

Then came the part where we introduced women to eco-friendly menstrual products: menstrual cups and cloth napkins. Looking at cloth napkins, this group wondered who has the time to wash and maintain these napkins? However, they were quite interested in knowing the details of them. We shared with them the complete know how of using the cups and maintaining hygiene while using them.

Next came the next questions, can young girls or unmarried girls use the cups? How will it impact the hymen? To which we responded, why not? And as for the hymen, what about it? We further questioned, did you have your hymen intact when you got married? We helped them understand that it’s just a piece of tissue which is not a proof of a girl’s virginity. With the kind of lifestyle young girls lead, the kind of physical activities they indulge in, the amount of stress they are exposed to, an intact hymen is a myth.

With this, our talk came to an end and we were left hopeful as always that we are helping our society change their mind set towards menstruation.

Read more from the Naari blog here.

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