Menstruation is No Joke. Period.

As I was scrolling though my daily Twitter feed I came across a photo posted by Voices of Youth’s twitter account. Needless to say it was one of those moments where I sat and thought of how fortunate I am to have the life I do.

Photo posted by www.voicesofyouth.org

Each day we take the luxuries of our every day lives for granted whether we realize this or not. Clean water, electricity, Wi-fi, free education and yes, tampons are only some of the many luxuries we are lucky to have. It’s twitter posts like the one above that us women (sorry fellas) do not think twice about each month. Hearing or seeing information about health problems such as lack of accessibility ┬áto feminine products is what only furthers my desire to find ways to improve health policy, whether it be local or global.

As a child our parents might have repromanded us and told us to go to our room or sit in the common area till we understood what we did was wrong. Now take a moment, and think about being forced into one of those rooms because of something entirely out of your own control? As women, we cannot fight mother nature, we cannot decide when she will make her monthly appearance and we certainly can’t ignore her. Women in Nigeria each month must stay home during the duration of their menstruation, some might be forced away from the public eye and kept in secret rooms. Why can I live my life normally each month? Why can I go to school and soccer practice each day while other women suffer? I have found it to be a hard pill to swallow when you realize you cannot help someone in the blink of an eye, when you can’t help someone over the span of year. Improvement takes time. Improving health policies based on non-governmental and governmental funding can be key in helping women live a normal life each month, it can help these women realize there isn’t shame in things out of their control. As I thought about this topic I couldn’t help but think back to my research article topic: Who Are We to Help People?, I can’t help but think what if these women don’t want funding, what if this is apart of their cultural beliefs? Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t stay in a room and out of public while they menstruate? It’s as easy as reading a simple tweet that you might forget how much another culture may differ from your own.

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One thought on “Menstruation is No Joke. Period.”

  1. You bring up so many big issues in this short post, and I like being encouraged to think about them all. Janina and I talk a lot about the (lack) of availability of menstrual products here in the U.S., and about how troubling it is that tissues and toilet paper are generally freely available in many public spaces, but tampons cost a ridiculous 25 cents each if you are lucky enough to find a dispenser around… This would even make an interesting research paper: cultural norms and challenges for women around menstruation across cultures (including our own). Great post– food for thought.

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