An Urgent Call for Action: Menstrual Health and Hygiene Practices in India

An Urgent Call for Action: Menstrual Health and Hygiene Practices in India.


Menstrual Hygiene


Menstruation is a natural and essential part of a woman’s life, yet it remains a taboo subject in many societies, including India. Despite significant progress in recent years, menstrual health and hygiene practices in India still face numerous challenges. This comprehensive article aims to shed light on the current scenario, discuss the existing issues in detail, and emphasize the importance of addressing these concerns for the well-being of women across the country.

Cultural Stigma and Taboos

Menstruation is often surrounded by cultural stigmas and taboos in India. Many women face restrictions during their periods, such as being barred from entering religious places, kitchens, or even touching certain objects. These deeply ingrained beliefs perpetuate shame, silence, and a lack of awareness about menstrual health. It is imperative to challenge these norms and foster open conversations to combat the stigma associated with menstruation.

Limited Access to Sanitary Products

Access to affordable and hygienic menstrual products remains a significant challenge, particularly in rural areas. Many women resort to using unhygienic alternatives like rags, ash, or even leaves, which can lead to infections and health complications. The lack of availability and affordability of sanitary products further exacerbates the issue. Ensuring that women have access to quality menstrual products is a fundamental step towards promoting their health and well-being.

Lack of Adequate Sanitation Facilities

Insufficient access to clean and private sanitation facilities is another critical problem. Many households lack proper toilets, forcing women and girls to use unsafe and unhygienic alternatives like open fields or communal toilets. This compromises their safety, dignity, and overall well-being. The provision of safe and accessible sanitation facilities is vital to address this issue and protect women’s rights.

Limited Menstrual Health Education

The absence of comprehensive menstrual health education perpetuates myths, misconceptions, and ignorance surrounding menstruation. Young girls often grow up without proper knowledge about menstrual hygiene practices, leading to poor menstrual health management and increased vulnerability to infections. Incorporating menstrual health education into school curricula and community programs is essential to ensure that girls and women have the information they need to manage their periods safely.

Social and Economic Barriers

The social and economic barriers faced by women in India hinder their ability to prioritize menstrual health. Poverty, limited access to education, and societal norms that prioritize other priorities over women’s health contribute to the neglect of menstrual hygiene practices. Addressing these barriers requires a comprehensive approach that includes economic empowerment, access to education, and challenging traditional gender roles.

Role of Government and NGOs

Menstrual Hygiene Scheme
Menstrual Hygiene Scheme

The Indian government has taken certain steps to address menstrual health concerns, such as the introduction of the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. However, more comprehensive efforts are needed to ensure access to sanitary products, promote awareness, and improve sanitation facilities. NGOs also play a crucial role in advocating for menstrual health and hygiene. They can work at the grassroots level to provide education, distribute sanitary products, and engage with communities to challenge taboos.

Check out the Initial’s initiative regarding maintaining the Menstrual Hygiene


Improving menstrual health and hygiene practices in India requires a multi-faceted approach involving education, awareness, policy changes, and community involvement. Breaking the silence surrounding menstruation, challenging cultural taboos, and providing access to affordable sanitary products and adequate sanitation facilities are essential steps towards empowering women and promoting their overall well-being. It is crucial for individuals, communities, and governments to work together to ensure that every woman in India can manage her menstrual health with dignity and without any hindrances.

By fostering open dialogue, providing education, and implementing policies that prioritize menstrual health, India can overcome these challenges and create an environment where menstruation is not a source of shame or silence but a natural aspect of women’s lives that is respected and supported.

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