A survey by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with Water, Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council reveals many things about awareness, taboos and others related to menstrual health & hygiene
Guwahati: On the eve of Menstrual Hygiene Day, Youth Ki Awaaz (YKA) in collaboration with Water, Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) published findings of a survey which, among many issues, shows that more than 50% women still rely on their mothers as the primary source of information about menstrual hygiene.
Meanwhile, men seem to rely on social media sources about information on periods, said the study, highlighting how ill-informed and tabooed the topic of menstrual health and hygiene remains in our country.
The survey, launched online in September 2019, was conducted over a period of 12 weeks gathering over 11,161 responses (in Hindi and English) from young Indians on issues of product usage, productivity at the workplace; cultural practices and beliefs and explored the intersections around menstrual hygiene and health, gender, emotional and mental well-being, etc.
A 35-question questionnaire was set up online to cover a large demography, and responses were received primarily from female, constituting 74.3% respondents, followed by 22% respondents identifying as male. The remaining identified themselves as non-binary, trans and those who didn’t prefer to specify.
The findings of the survey highlighted key areas that need to be addressed:
YKA founder Anshul Tewari said, “It is not surprising that there is a complete lack of an inclusive dialogue around menstrual hygiene and informed product choices."
Hoping to show what the young Indians feel through the survey, he added, "We hope that this data can become a template for meaningful policy dialogue and action that can help us create a more structural, systemic change for menstruating people across the country.”
WSSCC executive director, Sue Coates said, "This survey gives a very detailed perspective on what young people in India feel about the issue of menstruation and periods besides taboos and stigmas." Coats is hopeful that the findings of this survey will help to create a more active dialogue and conversation around the need for informed and inclusive policy-making around menstrual health and hygiene.