What is it that prevents women of our country from being more vocal about their periods? Is it the social stigma and taboo that people believe exists even today in our country?
Buying a pack of sanitary napkins is still considered a huge task by several men and hence carried out very surreptitiously if at all.
Maybe, it is time to have more opinion makers talk about this openly and break the silence once for all…
At a panel discussion organised by Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Actor, Producer Akshay Kumar spoke about the taboo associated around menstruation and how this led him to make the movie‘Padman to address this.
He quotes, “While growing up, I was just about aware that there existed something called period and sanitary napkins. But I didn’t know what it feels like or what the women go through. All these things were never discussed in schools earlier. It all started about 5-7 years back and it is no more a taboo. Everyone should talk about it and women shouldn’t feel ashamed while speaking out.
My 15-year-old son also knows everything about it because we have been discussing everything in his presence.
“Things will change if people come to larger platforms to discuss about the issue. I believe that after watching a film made on the tabbo related to periods, people will change their mind and have a different perspective,” he adds.
Supporting the cause, Her Excellency H.E.M.S. Jainaba Jagne, Ambassador of Gambia who was also present says, “This is a message that needs to be disseminated to the entire world. The message that Akshay is trying to send out is a problem for every young being in every part of the world.
“This is something that has been happening for generations. Nobody here would be born without women having to go through what we are going through. This should be the part of every being’s conversation. From the young men and older men over here. The message put here will let them have a greater understanding of the issues women are facing.”
Speaking on creating awareness among students, Dr. Adya Sharma, Director at Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies says, “It was a taboo and is still a taboo where people still shy away about talking on this topic but is think that change is happening, and women are more forthcoming discussing their problems and men are forthcoming accepting and understanding it.
So, I see a change happening and in the coming years we will witness a society where we accept, appreciate and understand this issues and deal with it in a mature fashion rather than hiding or whispering about it.
“We have been promoting this from quite some time. Through a club called Initiate, a small group of our students initiated making sanitary pads and distributing it around school in the area. We also have different people talking over such issues. Students are even sent to work in NGOs where they learn a lot. So, as an institute, we are taking conscious efforts to make students aware of issues like this and more.”
“In my own experience, the stigma around the subject has come down significantly over time. I find female colleagues to be more open and confident speaking about menstruation, and I have found that male colleagues are showing increasing sensitivity and openness towards this subject. Students are far more liberated in their discussion on the subject.
The pace of change is slow, but the narrative around it has definitely undergone a progressive change,” says Dr Ruchi Jaggi Director Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications.
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