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24 January, 2022 08:41:29 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 January, 2022 08:57:55 PM
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Period shaming — a big problem in Bangladesh

If VAT (value-added tax) is waived, it is possible to reduce the price of sanitary pads by 40 per cent
Ashikujaman Syed
Period shaming — a big problem in Bangladesh

Periods are usually associated with disgust, shame and embarrassment, and this needs to stop. The usual code of ‘I am not feeling well’ needs to end and people need to start being transparent about periods and stop living in the fear of being shamed. Period shaming is a big problem in our society. Because it makes girls think something that’s completely natural is wrong and, that it is something to be ashamed of. They hide the pads in their cupboards.

At home, when the girls would have their periods, they were treated like untouchables. Don’t sit on the sofa, don’t sleep on your bed, don’t enter the kitchen’ and the list goes on. It’s in our subconscious that this topic is considered taboo. In many homes, the moment a sanitary napkin ad plays on the TV, either the channel is changed or the kids are distracted. Firstly, we have to talk about periods in our social circles and in everyday life. We have to be able to say the word and talk about it freely in our homes. If we encourage an attitude of embarrassment and discretion from the outset then that will permeate through into general society.

About 73 per cent of women suffer from cervical and urinary tract infections due to unhygienic issues during their menstruation. This can later turn into cancer. The average price of a packet of sanitary pads in Bangladesh varies from Tk 100 to 160. This is not affordable for maximum women. And many women consider this essential thing as a luxury item. The use of pads among menstruating women is 40 to 50 per cent in urban areas, while it is only 12 to 15 per cent in the whole country.

According to the Baseline Survey, 41 per cent of girls remain absent from school or college during their period.

If VAT (value-added tax) is waived, it is possible to reduce the price of sanitary pads by 40 per cent. All educational institutions and workplaces of our country should ensure that menstruation products are freely available to students and all menstruating females. We should invest money or make a budget for distributing sanitary products to our womenfolk at free of cost.

The writer is a Research Assistant, Bioinformatics Research Lab, Center for Research Innovation and Development (CRID). E-mail: syedashikujaman@yahoo.com

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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