High Time We Challenge the Secrecy Around Menstruation

A campaign around menstrual hygiene management cannot be limited to only the provision of products. It should also look at menstruation as a socio-political issue and focus on fighting stigma.

Chennai: Chums. Monthly visitor. Code red. Stomach pain. Woh din (those days). Olagilla (not inside), Purathu aayi, (I am outside) Dooram or doora (far away). Code words for periods are common in many Indian languages. In case we assumed that the scenario was different outside of India, the International Women’s Health Coalition says that there are 5,000 different slang terms for the word ‘periods’ across 190 countries. These endless euphemisms are a simple outcome of the silence around a phenomenon that millions of women undergo every day, but about which they remain mostly silent.

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