Taboo Around Menstruation Needs to be Broken: Mary Kom
NEW DELHI: In India, menstruation is culturally considered dirty so we need to break this taboo and teach our daughters that it is fine to have periods, boxing icon M.C. Mary Kom said Wednesday.
"Menstruation is the first step towards a healthy motherhood but in India it is culturally considered dirty or impure," Mary Kom wrote in an article on the occasion of International Day for Rural Women.
"We need to break this taboo and teach our daughters that it is ok to have periods and it should not weigh them down mentally or physically or hold them back from accomplishing their dreams," she wrote.
Highlighting the need to ensure good health for women and girls in the rural areas and urban slums the medal winning athlete said the girls in rural areas need to be educated and informed about menstruation before they hit puberty.
"As mothers we should not shy away from talking about periods to our daughters and educating them. In rural and tribal areas, girls continue to use sawdust, grass or mud during the periods which can lead to infections and even death.
"We should tell our daughters to keep use sanitary napkins or a clean cloth during period and that they should bathe regularly and change their napkins or the cloth every 4-6 hours to keep them clean and dry," she added.
On the occasion, Mary Kom also joined a campaign -- "The Taj Must Smile" -- to ensure behavioural change in women and make them aware about their health needs during crucial days of menstruation, pregnancy and lactation.
Mary Kom, a five-time world champion, became the first Indian woman boxer to win a gold medal in Asian Games when she clinched the yellow metal in the Incheon Games earlier this month.
She also won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.