Many girls still have to hide their pads when they go to toilet as if its a shameful thing to have a period. Have you ever wondered why is this thing happening? Even its part of biological cycle that is part of women’s nature, menstruation is still widely stigmatized. In many cultures period blood is also considered dirty. Stigmatization happens because the lack of knowledge or awareness about something.
With the idea of spreading the awareness that having period is normal, Act Global team held an online webinar with Nur Alifah (Youth Environmentalist) and Ni Komang Ernayanti (Co-Founder Period Project Indonesia) about menstruation stigmatization and how to normalize it. The webinar is attended by 28 participants, ladies and gentlemen.
With our speaker Nur Alifah, she spoke more about menstruation stigmatization and the struggle some women have to face due to the lack access of period products. Because in fact pads or tampons are not affordable for every woman. Moreover, most of women’s product is given more tax (pink tax). Pink tax refers to higher price difference that majority of women must pay than men when buying a product or service.
While with Ni Komang Ernayanti, she spoke more about the period product options that women can choose. Basically the options available are : pads, tampon, and menstrual cup. Pads are available in two options, disposable and reusable. Disposable period products are actually cost women much more than reusable one, because with reusable period products, even it is more expensive to invest on them in the first place, it end up to be cheaper. Using reusable menstrual products also help with environment’s sustainability as disposable period product is considered to be residue waste, we can’t reuse or recycle it. Residue waste will end up in landfill and the waste from the land will always end up in the ocean.
In the end of the webinar we end it with QnA session with most questions related to how normalize it. And the only way to normalize it is to speak about it, share awareness that its part of women’s nature.
We can see the stigmatization of menstruation in Pad Man movie, this is an Indian movie based on true story where a husband become worry seeing his wife using an unhygienic rag during her period. He tried to make his own pads for his wife, but instead his wife tell him that he should not interfere in this topic.
Menstruation is a normal thing and it should be in everyday conversation, men and women should understand about it because we live together and should be able to help each other. Even as men, they must have female relative who are of course experiencing menstruation. By knowing and aware about menstruation, we are contributing to make the world a better place!
Written by: Nevy Pangestika