It seems that the world is on its way, slowly and steadily, to becoming a better place for women. Even then, it still has a long way to go. How?
Well, with Scotland becoming the first-ever ‘Period free’ nation giving all the period products free in this country, Pune Airport offering free sanitary napkins, the food delivery giant Zomato introducing period leaves for its female staff and Maharashtra’s Thane setting up a ‘Period Room’ in the slums to promote better menstrual hygiene in the region.
That’s right. Thane’s Municipal Corporation, in collaboration with the NGO Muse Foundation, has introduced a special period room for women at a slum in Shanti Nagar locality of Wagle Estate area.
The facility has been equipped with a urinal, jet spray, toilet roll holder, soap, running water and a dustbin.
And the outer wall of the toilet block is painted with colourful pictures with messages advocating and promoting good hygiene, including during menstruation.
A Much Needed Facility
According to a survey in 2019, carried by NGO Muse Foundation, more than 67% of women in Thane slums do not have access to toilets at home.
Women in slums are therefore heavily dependent on community toilets to change during periods. However, due to lack of water, unsafe changing rooms and absence of disposal mechanism for soiled napkins, it becomes very difficult and unhygienic for them.
And adding to the problem of lack of dustbins in public toilets, women were forced to dispose of sanitary products far from their family members’ gaze, which not only leads to poor hygiene practices but also creates an environmental hazard.
Period Rooms: A Long Way In Promoting Better Menstrual Hygiene
The lack of access to proper menstrual hygiene facilities for women in towns and the countryside and awareness on the same discourages the need to discuss and debate on female reproductive health and menstrual hygiene openly.
However, the period rooms in Thane certainly look like a step to tide over the unneeded hesitation and reservations on promoting menstrual hygiene. They will be replicating this period room in over 120 communities in the city to give a push to create awareness against period taboos and encourage sustainable menstruation among women in slums.
Image Credits: Google Images, Unsplash
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