On Menstrual Hygiene Day, actor and former Miss World Manushi Chhillar has continued her unstinted support towards spreading awareness on menstruation. She has joined forces with Unicef India to urge people across the world to break the chain of shame around periods. And she has a vital message to share with one and all.
“The stigma around menstruation affects not only women, but the entire community. Therefore, men must be equally aware that menstruation is a natural occurrence for women and part of a physiological process. There is nothing to be feel shy or ashamed about this,” Manushi tells Health Shots in an exclusive interview.
For Manushi, menstrual hygiene awareness is a cause close to her heart. The Haryana girl, whose parents are doctors, strongly believes that period talks need to be normalized among all genders.
“I would urge families to educate both, boys and girls on menstruation and help remove stigma around a normal physiological function. I’d also encourage them to get involved in creating awareness about the ways in which our society can make it comfortable and stress-free for girls and women to manage their menstrual health,” she adds.
Manushi, who is ready to make her Bollywood debut with Prithviraj, has also participated in Unicef India’s #RedDotChallenge, an annual campaign to raise awareness on period hygiene.
Asked about the things she would like to tell her followers about menstrual health hygiene management, she tells Health Shots, “Firstly, as a society we should realize that menstruation can be difficult to handle for school-going girls. If they do not have access to safe and hygienic toilets with bins in schools for safe disposal of used pads, that leads to many girls remaining absent from schools during their period. The same is true for working women.”
To this end, she believes that access to sanitary products, safe disposal and a private and clean space to girls and women to manage their periods at schools, colleges as well as workplaces, can make that time of the month stress-free and comfortable for them.
Manushi also hopes that continued efforts to educate people on periods, will bust all the societal myths around menstruation.
Earlier this week, Manushi even took to her Instagram page to post a vital message in association with Unicef India, highlighting that menstruation is a reality that everyone will have to live with. And it’s about time that “taboos, myths, and misinformation” get eliminated.
“In this day and age, “coming of age” should not have any restrictions or obstacles,” she said, adding that the onset of periods must be celebrated as an “important milestone” in a girl’s life.
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