Menstruation is a natural biological process which is still considered as a "taboo" even in today's world of modern technology and information. It is treated as something disruptive, shameful, and disgraceful act. Here is a list of some common misconceptions related to periods that exist even in our social and educational setups where the elderly persons still cling to traditional rituals and mindset:
Among the commonly held rituals, considering women as unclean and asking questions like "Paak ho?" to ensure if she's on her period or not in order to inhibit her from encountering certain tasks is a habitual social practice. For instance, refraining women from touching pickles or other wet foods so that they won't get spoiled or asking them not to enter the kitchen or taste something which is to eaten by others.
Another myth is that showering would be dangerous to the women during her period. Mothers and other elderly women advise their daughters not to take bath during these days as it can damage or badly affect their internal organs or may even cause infertility.
More than 79% girls in Pakistan do not manage menstruation hygienically, causing gynecological and psychological problems that lead them to believe that it is a disease, say health experts.“Menstrual Hygiene Management remains a taboo in Pakistan but it affects a woman’s self-esteem, health, and education,” as said by country programme manager for UN-Habitat.
Often girls come to hear from their mothers that they should not go near the plants as they are also living beings and can be withered under the influence of the uncleanliness of menstruation.
Another taboo that prevails in our society is that girls are prohibited from telling it to others that they are on her period otherwise they are likely to have more bleeding. And people still believe such things without even having an appropriate logic behind it.
People believe that it is a shameful activity and the wastage like used pads and stained garments should be kept hideous and apart from the trash as it can lead to cancer and other harmful diseases.
Such taboos related to periods are not only absurd but they also create a hindrance for women to function their daily life routines normally. Together with the tools of education and awareness, we can put an effort to eradicate such myths from a society where every individual would believe that period is not shameful but powerful.