BioVoice News June 2016 Issue 2 Volume 1 - Page 33

HURDLES Cultural Taboo: The culture of silence around mensuration creates barriers to open discussion and support. Fear and Isolation: Without education from the parents and teachers, girls often begin menarche in isolation, without any understanding of what is happening to their bodies. Limited Resources: In many low-resource settings, this culture of silence is compounded by limited resources to help manage their periods. In many low-resource settings, women must be resourceful and use recycled or old cloth as the primary tool for period management, though women and girls have also been known to use mattress stuffing, old rags, sheets of school workbooks, even dried leaves and ash. In few parts of India, girls are forbidden to touch food or sleep in the house when they're menstruating. Lack of sanitation facilities can put girls at risk when needing to manage menstruation in the open. As a result, girls miss out on a host of opportunities, limiting their participation in their own development and that of their commun