Holy Hormones Journal: Aditi Gupta and her husband Tuhin Paul of India break through the barriers of menstrual taboos and develop a web site – Menstrupedia.com to provide information and education on puberty and sexuality for pre-teens and teenagers. The site averages 40,000 visitors a month from 195 countries, with readers from as far afield as Canada and the Philippines. Finally – the myths about menstruation will fall – and more and more women will realize the significance and power of the menstrual cycle – and their shared experiences through this on line source.
There are many girls who step into puberty
not knowing that their bodies are the most
power to bring forth humanity.
India’s Period Problem
The Wall Street Journal
India Real Time
By Isha Singh Sawhney
October 4, 2013
Don’t enter the kitchen. Don’t touch the pickles. Don’t bake cakes. Don’t come in contact with men. Don’t swim. Don’t wash your hair. Don’t go into a wine cellar. These are some of the strictures still in place for women during their monthly period in parts of India, where old wives’ tales about women’s impurity during menstruation persist.
In India, most of the taboos stem from a time before sanitary pads, when women were made to stay in a hut outside the village during their period, kept from daily duties and not allowed in the kitchen. Women in some areas are prohibited from going to the temple during their monthly period.
Aditi Gupta, 28, spent her teenage years too embarrassed to buy sanitary pads, even though her family could afford them, and used discarded rags instead, a practice that still continues in some areas.
“In our small town, the women of the house couldn’t go out to buy the pads and neither could the men,” said Ms. Gupta, whose father was a lawyer and whose mother was a professor of Hindi at a university in the state of Jharkhand, in eastern India. When ads for sanitary pads appeared on television, Ms. Gupta says her mother would bat away her questions by saying she would understand when she was older.
And school wasn’t much help either, she adds.
“Like most young girls, I started menstruating age 12. But only learned about what periods really were aged 15 in Class 9. Even then our teacher skipped the chapter, telling us to read it on our own,” said Ms. Gupta, who grew up in Garhwa, a semi-urban small town in Jharkhand.
Even today in India, where schools often lack proper toilet facilities for girls, the onset of puberty means many girls stop going to school.
The Beauty of Red