Why period pants are still tabooJuly 4, 2022
Women everywhere get periods, yet this natural process is stigmatized in most parts of the world. However, women are also finding ways to empower themselves, so they no longer feel embarrassed about their periods.
An organization called Plan International works to help women talk about their periods and provides substantial assistance. Here are stories from three countries.
Most women in this Islamic country are embarrassed to buy sanitary products, but most salespeople are men, making it hard for women to feel comfortable buying feminine protection.
A woman named Lucky started her store in her village with the help of Plan International. It’s called SaniMart, and it sells sanitary pads as well as other essentials such as soap and toothpaste.
In her village, periods are considered a taboo topic. Before Lucky opened the SaniMart, many girls and women were too embarrassed to buy the needed products. They didn’t want to talk about these products with the male shopkeepers. In many cases, they were also unable to afford them.
Girls’ education got impacted due to a lack of sanitary arrangements. Most of them would avoid school during their period as they could not access sanitary products. Today that has changed as Lucky’s shop provides affordable and accessible sanitary products.
Girls also miss school in Colombia because they don’t have the feminine hygiene products they need. This can lead to girls dropping out of school early, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. Without an education, girls cannot get well-paying jobs. Instead, they are more easily forced into child marriages or otherwise taken advantage of.
In Colombia, Plan International works with Be Girl to confront the taboos surrounding periods. It also helps ensure that girls and women have the products they need for their periods.
The program also works to educate boys and young men so that they can help to end the stigma surrounding periods.
Girls are given reusable liners that will allow them to absorb blood flow without spending any money. Another reusable option would be period underwear. The company that makes these, WUKA, is a female-led start-up.
It was founded in 2017 and makes the UK’s first reusable period underwear. The company’s products are composed of soft cotton surrounding a waterproof layer. Women can wear them and feel secure even when sleeping. As the products are reusable, they are both environmentally responsible and affordable.
Anne Hope lives in Uganda. She was frightened the first time she had a period because no one had explained that this would happen. People don’t talk about menstruation in Uganda. It is a taboo topic.
At first, Anna didn’t tell anyone, but finally, she told a friend, who explained what was happening and gave her rags she could use.
However, many girls at her school are too poor to afford feminine hygiene products.
Plan International supports Ugandan girls through the distribution of sanitary products. They also provide health clubs so girls can learn about health topics such as menstruation in a safe and open environment. The goal is to help girls become more confident and give them the help they need to stay in school.