A Panel Discussion On Menstrual Hygiene, on the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Wednesday, May 27.
This is the first event which I had attended with the aid of LIVE tweets from @sftimetochange. Since this was a topic which interested me, and which should ideally interest every woman in this world, it saddened me to learn that I could not be present at the venue in person, as the event was not being held in my city.
If you have not guessed already, @sftimetochange is the Twitter handle belonging to India's leading women’s health and hygiene brand, Stayfree. They focused on this event, with the hashtag #LetsStayfree.
Stayfree hosted a panel discussion on India’s least discussed topic ‘Menstruation’, with an aim to spread awareness around the need for educating young girls and women about menstrual hygiene. Following the panel discussion, Stayfree also announced the launch of its free educational YouTube channel that will assist women in getting a better understanding about menstruation.
The panelists included experts and well-known personalities in their fields such as:
- Gul Panag, Actress, Activist & Former Beauty Queen;
- Kritika Kamra, Actress;
- Dr. Anita Soni, Obstetrics & Gynecology Consultant at Dr. L.H. Hiranandani Hospital;
- Sinu Joseph, Counselor & Menstrual Hygiene Educator;
- Lina Ashar, Founder & Chairperson of Kangaroo Kids Education
- Good menstrual hygiene is a critical indicator of the holistic progress of women, socially and economically because there is a very strong connection between hygienic menstrual practices and overall health.
- In India, despite the economic progress that has been made in the last several years, over 80% of women still do not have access to adequate sanitary protection during menstruation.
- In India, feminine hygiene and menstruation, being a sensitive topic, is not discussed openly, and women often continue to harbor myths and misconceptions about it, since no one amongst their family and friends is able to educate them.
- Additionally, mothers are often not in a position to guide their daughters correctly since their own knowledge is limited.
- Over time, unhygienic practices due to low awareness and education levels can adversely impact the health and productivity of these women.
- According to the report, awareness on basic health and feminine hygiene in India is very low, with 75% rural women lacking adequate knowledge on menstrual hygiene and care.