– Nisha Adhikari
“Menstruation: A journey of girls into womanhood”
Womanhood can be beautiful but also sometimes comes along with all those cramps, bloating, mood swings, back pain and in some cases, excessive bleeding. Luckily I have every necessary products to tackle with this or make these easier. I have medications especially designed for menstrual pain. I have sanitary pads or tampons by my table whenever I need. Modern Technology has even made easier with the period tracking apps.
But the scenario is completely different when you are locked within the certain area, where you cannot have connection with the outer world. A women in the jail, where the money given to you on daily basis is not even sufficient to have a meal for two times a day, where you may not receive even the basic necessities. Then how can we expect them to have a sanitary pads during their periods.
A women in the early age of 20 gets into the prison. Every month she bleeds. Every month she has to suffer. Every month she has to fight with the pain, all cramps and bloating. Menstruation becomes a nightmare for her because she has to deal with the discomfort she gets after the heavy bleeding. The money she earns from her work within the jail is not enough to fulfill her basic necessities. The essential diet during such periods are far away from her. Female hygiene product should be managed by themselves. The only option she has left is her old clothes to soak that blood. The same old clothes which may have remained unwashed because of lack of her access to washing facilities and she is compelled to use it in the emergency situation of so called periods.
She thinks periods as the matter of humiliation or as if it contain an element that is somehow offensive. She try her best to keep it out of her social interaction. Due to which, every month she use the improperly washed piece of cloth that do not get even shadow of the sun. She hides it in the corner of her room or at the back of the door. Somehow when she manage to buy the sanitary pads, she has to use it very wisely and for the longer duration so that it becomes sufficient for her one period. But she is unaware of all the infections she is getting with her every another periods.
Reproductive tract infections, urinary tract infection and other fungal disease are on the way to increase her anxiety and depression.
Lack of hygiene product and forced humiliation, some women encounter in the prison setting is really upsetting and change is crucial.
Though she is within the prison because of her wrong deeds but she is still a woman and every month she bleeds. She also has the menstrual needs as if the women like us which needs to be addressed.