In our recent training programme on Pathways to Empowerment in menstrual health awareness, participants highlighted how a lack of menstrual knowledge based research as well as a lack of monitoring or evaluation of the few existing menstrual health educational programmes show how much little we know about menstruation and periods to actually tackle the existing menstural stigma and challenges more comprehensively and inclusively.
Further, in most sessions, many questioned how the society sees and reframes menstruation or periods, by not understanding and seeing them from a gender perspective. Menstrual shaming severely inhibits the visualisation of the stigma and challenge that various menstruating bodies face, nurturing thus a culture of concealment, taboos and discrimination. Hence, there is a need to find solutions on how to break such an oppressive culture towards the menstruators.
Currently, there are no any menstrual social research or formal and non-formal educational programmes to assess and meet the needs of various menstruating people, especially those who are systematically marginalised because of their gender, sexuality, ability, age and class, which further exposes them to violence and dismimination while accessing menstrual hygiene products which deepens and maintains the status-quo of social injustice.
Thus, it is difficult to facilitate behavioral changes to achieve a period positive attitude while menstruation and periods are seen as something negative, to be ashamed about, and with the Menarche a menstruating body climbing a step in maturity that is labelled by society as not normal, discomfort and painful. The training course created a safe space for participants to learn and commit to an inclusive menstrual health awareness in their youth work or practices.