Scotland ensures menstrual hygiene by providing premenstrual products, what is India Doing?
Wednesday morning, the Guardian reported, Scotland became the first country to make menstrual products free for everyone, and for the fact, it is a move after which no wonder how many women had heaved a sigh of relief.
Now, those who are menstruating will have free and universal access to menstrual products like tampons, sanitary napkins, menstrual cups, etc.
Under the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act, the Scottish government will introduce a nationwide program that will place a legal duty on all local authorities to make feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads freely available for those who need them, the Guardian reported.
We all know that menstruation is a natural process that occurs in the female body off which after 28 to 30 days, their body sheds off the lining of the uterus, and for 3-7 days, the body sheds off that blood lining. To store the blood flow hygienical manner, we have menstrual products. Yet, how many menstruators have access to them is a question. Some women have been using unhygienic products like cloth, ash, plastic, etc. to store their flow and such ways can be extremely harmful to their health.
Amid this situation of Period Poverty, Scotland’s act of making period products free is absolutely a win-win move to deal with the period of poverty in the world.
So, where Scotland had done its bit, where does India stand-in overcoming period poverty.
Menstrual Rights in India
India is a country that culturally believes that Menstruation is a sin and a sign of impurity of which different communities have set different rules for women like disapproving their entering the kitchen, temples, sleeping on the bed, etc.
Where these are the cultural ones, there are thousands of women who don’t have the know-how of why do they menstruate and what are the healthy ways to go through it. A sufficient lack of education around menstrual hygiene has made women use unhygienic products like cloth, ash, and even plastic to control their flow.
Amid this, in 2018, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, an Indian Politician came with a bill – Women’s Sexual, Reproductive and Menstrual Rights. The menstrual rights clause of the bill suggests the distribution of sanitary napkins to menstruators in schools for free. While from above, it looks like a progressive thought, in the Dynamics of India, it is not progressive. The very fact that sanitary napkins add to a lot of menstrual waste and can be a hazard to the environment is overlooked. Sanitary napkins are not the only hygienic options while menstruating, options like tampons, cloth pads, and menstrual cups are nowhere considered. Another important aspect that the country doesn’t have much literacy about menstruation is a factor that makes women repulsive of implying with the menstrual hygiene products is not considered. Also, the lack of basic sanitation like toilets is a big factor that the bill overlooks. And yes, it is still a bill, nowhere in process of becoming law.
Well, we congratulate Scotland and the menstruators in Scotland for their move of providing free menstrual products and we hope that people all around the world take inspiration from them and make their period laws that ensure healthy menstruation.
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