Menstrual Matters – Global Superstitions

At GiveHer5, we aim to educate and inform people on menstrual health awareness and period poverty, both of which are massive issues in India as well as globally. With a large population not having access to tools, resources and correct information, it is not uncommon to see wrong information, archaic beliefs and draconian thought processes erode fact and reason. Menstruation is a natural process, yet in many places, several superstitions, taboos and myths perpetuate fear and further propagate the need to associate people who bleed with untouchability. In some places, women are not be allowed to touch utensils that are used for cooking food for the entire family and in others, women need to be kept in a secluded space while she bleeds. Sounds ludicrous? It is. But this practice exists in Nepal. 

Yes, despite being outlawed by the Nepal Supreme Court in 2005, this practice of sending menstruating women to stay confined in tiny huts is called Chhaupadi, and it is still prevalent in villages that are remote and hard to access. At first, one might not think too much about the dangers of Chhaupadi. After all, menstruating women getting privacy and time to rest may not sound too bad. But what we often fail to register is that these huts are outdoors, where temperatures can be freezing. Last year, a woman aged just 21 was found dead in a ‘period hut’. Though the exact cause of her death was not clear, she was forced to stay isolated in a windowless hut and had lit a fire to keep herself warm. With no ventilation, she could have died from smoke inhalation, dehydration or even hypothermia. Her brother-in-law was held accountable and arrested for forcing her to stay in the hut, despite the practice of Chhaupadi being illegal. Click here to read more about the incident in an article by Forbes.

We find it shocking that women are being forced into isolation and in cases like this, having to sacrifice their lives based on a purely natural bodily function. Misunderstandings surrounding periods are deep-rooted in gender inequality and lack of knowledge on the subject. At GiveHer5, we will be spotlighting some of these superstitions, myths and taboos from societies across the globe on our Instagram feed. Follow us for more and scroll down for some of our previous content. 

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Misunderstandings surrounding periods are deep-rooted in gender inequality. A lot of period-related myths and superstitions involve menstruating women cooking or preparing food during that time of the month. Argentina has an oddly specific fear about dairy products, insisting that if you make whipped cream or mayonnaise while on your period, they’ll curdle. Despite being hours away from 2020, a completely natural bodily function that is responsible for our very existence, continues to be a taboo subject across the world. Help make a difference. At @giveher5, we work towards a brighter future for thousands of women across the country. With your help, we are one milestone closer to achieving gender equality. Visit the #linkinbio to know more. . . . #giveher5 #saafkins #superstitions #myths #menstrualmatters #global #women #menstrualhealth #follow #education #girls #sanitarypads #community #gender #health

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Unique menstrual hygiene taboos exist within communities across the world and tackling them is never easy. In Char Bramagacha village, northern Bangladesh, monthly periods are kept secretive and perceived as shameful. Daughters are too apprehensive to speak to their mothers about it and are even told to stay away from the kitchen and religious places of worship while menstruating. The widespread beliefs that menstrual blood is polluting and dangerous, and that the menstruating body is weak and shameful, leads to behaviours that expose women to several health risks. The lack of awareness results in girls having to resort to rags torn from old saris and other clothing instead of investing in proper sanitary pads. Help change the narrative in our country. Join us in bringing safe sanitary solutions to young women in rural areas across India. Visit www.givher5.org to contribute. . . . #giveher5 #saafkins #superstitions #myths #menstrualmatters #global #women #menstrualhealth #follow #education #girls #sanitarypads #community #gender #health

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