Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why Live With Menstrual Taboos?

There are rare occassions when we cover issues on AWSW. Not that we don't find them interesting, but we believe that our reader is an alpha woman who knows exactly what she wants. But with the recent survey done by Whisper India on the taboos related to menstruation that are very much followed not just by women in rural areas of India, but also the urban, well-educated women. Shocking, isn't it? 

Image Courtesy: alternet.org

Menstrual taboos have been around for centuries, and are followed globally by women from all stratas and sections. While the origin of the same is absolutely unknown and a clear mystery, what's left today is the distorted version, sans any meaning. Taboos like not visiting the temple, not entering the kitchen, not visiting vineyards (international taboo), or the most common in India - not touching pickle...

Have you ever thought about it that why are we even following such weird taboos that practically have no meaning and are not even adding to any health benifits to a woman? Guess what? This is not enough, Whisper India during their interesting event #TouchThePickle event in the capital shared some shocking survey** results. Take a look...

Senseless Taboos

  1. More than 50% of urban Indian women practice menstrual taboos. SERIOUSLY?
  2. 73% of urban women residing in the capitali wash hair on the 4th day of the menses as compared to 32% of urban women residing in Kolkata.. WHY?
  3. 59% of metropolitan women don’t touch the pickle during periods.. OK, TAKE A BREAK!
  4. 54% of women believe in not watering plants during periods.. HILARIOUS & FUNNY!
  5. Surprisingly even in this day & age as many as 65% of the women surveyed perceived the “monthly period” as coming in the way of women achieving their full potential.. WAKE UP PLZ..
  6. 61% married women from south and 48 % from north India don’t share the same room with their husband during their menses.. OMG! 
  7. 79% Indian men across the country feel irrational period taboos should be questioned.. BRAVO!
  8. But then there are 28% of males in urban India who become uncomfortable on the mere mention of the word 'periods'.. WHOA!
Shraddha Kapur During the Event

Whisper India's Initiative 

It's good to see that brands are coming up with initatives like Touch The Pickle that aim to open up the narro minded approach of the society. The brand did an interesting discussion with women like Dr Suneela Garg, Anthropologist, Aditi Gupta, Founder, Menstrupedia.com, and veteran actress Tanvi Azmi, in the presence of moderator Mandira Bedi and actor
Shraddha Kapoor, on the taboos that they had followed or were asked to believe in during their growing up years! 

Though, it's still just a beginning and there is a long way to go when it comes to getting rid of the age-old taboos, what's good is that there are signs of change and women are already accepting it!

So, when are you getting rid of these weirdos?
(** the nationwide survey was conducted through IPSOS for the brand)

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