16 Y.O Shikoh Is Talking About Menstrual Hygiene To Break Stigma In Her Village
- IWB Post
- May 30, 2019
For years, women and girls in the Kuwarpur Baghel village have been facing injustice and unfair treatment during their period because of the archaic mentality that the natural phenomenon is impure. Done with this regressive way of life, 16-year-old Shikoh Zaidi has dared to stand up to the taboo that silences the much-needed discussions on menstruation and puberty.
Zaidi is currently studying in class 12th in VidyaGyan Leadership Academy, Sitapur, and was supported by her father in her mission to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene in her village.
“Since my childhood, I have seen women in my village facing this trauma. Women are considered impure and treated badly during their menstruation period,” she said.
“I was in school when I gained puberty two years back. I was in a hostel. Since I was aware of it I handled it easily,” she added. “Then I realized, we have made a mountain out of menstruation. But a thought came to my mind when I recalled my village days, where women and girls faced a lot due to this natural cycle. That was a point when I decided to do something to deal with this stigma to break the silence.”
During her summer vacation, she started visiting her neighbors to talk to them about the importance of menstrual hygiene.
“There were different responses to my call. Many were shocked at what I was talking about while some offered deaf ears,” she said. “Still I managed to convince several girls and women while my father arranged a projector to show three educational videos to them.”
“This is still a women’s issue and we are taught not to talk about it. But we have to talk about it as the issue is related to our health. I wanted to convey this message and I succeeded as many of them have started asking questions about menstrual hygiene,” she said, adding, “I have seen girls in my village staying away from school during periods and gradually dropping out because of menstruation.”
As sanitary napkins are costly and only available in block level hospital, Zaida will be writing to the authorities concerned.
H/T: Hindustan Times