Sanitary products for flooded women are necessity

People are mobilizing to help the millions of men, women, and children who have been displaced by this year’s monsoons as Pakistan suffers from the apocalyptic damage wrought by this year’s monsoons. Women and girls account for half of these people, but in the rush to provide shelter, food, and medicine, their biological requirements are frequently disregarded.
However, not this time, due to a group of young women – largely students – who have started an initiative to collect sanitary items for these women and girls, some of whom will experience their first period during these months. These organizations are raising awareness about period poverty in a country where women are not just marginalized in the best of conditions, but openly discussing menstruation has long been frowned upon.
Half of the globe menstruates. The other half does not have to consider this truth. While one half of the globe must purchase things to deal with this – think soap, sanitary pads, special undergarments, painkillers – and have access to clean water and bathrooms to protect their health during this period, the other half of the world is without these essentials. While one half of the globe suffers with pain, low blood pressure, anemia, and the consequences of these conditions on their ability to attend school or work, the other half is pain-free.
Because of male privilege, our society is afraid of the biological reality of women. Puberty, menstruation, fertility, conception, pregnancy, and childbirth are considered women’s matters that should not be discussed in public or in the presence of men or boys. Not long ago, television advertisements for sanitary products were fraught with controversy. Women and girls in Pakistan continue to suffer from human-created shame over a biological function that is necessary for survival.
Women and girls in Pakistan face human-created shame for a bodily function that is necessary for survival.
Flooding has ravaged much of Pakistan, killing over 1,000 individuals and affecting over 30 million people. As appeals for donations are made, several very wise people reminded donors that sanitary pads should be on the list of items contributed. Among such rational words were several ludicrous assertions that pads are unnecessary.
Pads and other menstrual hygiene items are NOT a luxury, as many of our guys appear to believe. They are definitely necessary. Lack of proper and clean menstrual products might raise the risk of urogenital diseases such as yeast infections, vaginosis, or urinary tract infections.
Most bleeding women bleed every month and require menstruation products to regulate their periods. This isn’t breaking news, nor is it shocking. Yes, many women in communities use rags instead of pads, but they currently have no access to anything.It’s true that women in rural areas of Pakistan are used to using cloths that they wash and reuse, the most ecologically sound manner of dealing with periods. But emergencies necessitate having to use alternate methods for period hygiene.
In the floods, there is no clean water with which to wash the cloths. Adding biological waste to the already filthy stagnant water will just increase the spread of disease, the “second disaster” that the WHO has warned will hit Pakistanis now that the flooding has done its worst.
Menstrual supplies are being provided to the female IDPs by relief organizations led by women, who are also holding workshops to explain how they operate and how they should be disposed of safely. The rural women have been eager to test using sanitary napkins with belts.
Respect and sensitivity are crucial for women to survive these times with dignity. However, right now might be the perfect time to educate these women and girls about menstrual hygiene and how their bodies function, giving them unexpectedly newfound power.