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Feminine Festive Times

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My friend asked me: “Have you heard this ad on FM? A male voice was advocating the use of sanitary napkins!”. ‘Give her happy periods, give her rash less periods, use so and so sanitary napkins’. “How drastically Indian male psyche has changed in these years? It is indeed the effect of your tireless efforts in spearheading the movement, extensive use of sanitary napkins in Indian society”, my friend complimented me for enlightening the society on the woes of menstruating women.

Her praise took me back to the memories of an incident. I was returning from America after attending UN women’s conference at New York. Sitting in the air craft, I was thinking of the lives of Indian women. On the way, I suddenly felt like getting my menstrual periods. I was feeling embarrassed. I stood up looking for air hostess to borrow some sanitary pads. When I stood-up the man in next seat compelled me to sit down. When I sat down, he asked me the reason for standing. Inevitably I told him. He lectured that women won’t be allowed to stay in houses and they should spend in back yards and in the woods near villages during those three days. Disapproving his nasty views, I told him that he also took birth in the blood he loathes. ‘Are you are shameless? You are discussing such nasty things with unknown men?’ he said. I was moved with uncontrollable resentment, angrily looking at him, I stood up. Yes, I should stand-up, for me and for the women. He jeered at me and changed his seat.

That incident prompted me to spearhead the movement for menstruating women in Indian society. I traveled all over the villages and taken up awareness campaign. When the village girls could not attend schools during those three days, I urged the government to arrange free supply of sanitary napkins to rural school girls to ensure and improve female education. In the early days people criticized that feminists have no other issues than sexual matters. Afterwards, there was change in government’s outlook and public perception. To my delight, after many years, the ad in Radio cheered me up. Yes, my menstruation tells the world that I am a woman and I am a part of the nature. I feel proud of my gender identity. Menstruation is a festive time for women world. Let us celebrate!

Mahe Jabeen Hyderabad India

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Comments

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks for sharing. Love

Thanks for sharing.

Love

Nusrat

olutosin's picture

Just Love You

Thanks for being the voice...

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

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olakitike's picture

Maha, thanks for standing up

Maha, thanks for standing up and refusing to shut up.
Much love

cbenkov's picture

Hi Maha, Thanks so much for

Hi Maha,

Thanks so much for your article. I also share in your empowerment through menstruation. Every month when I get my period, I think about the wonders of our bodies and the special abilities that we have as women, that men are not included in.

Warmly,
Carly

Nusrat Ara's picture

Congrats Maha !

Congrats Maha !

Nusrat

myaphotography's picture

Maha, That is an amazing

Maha,

That is an amazing story. It must be so wonderful to know that you have made a big difference in so many women's lives.

Y's picture

Hello from World Pulse,

Hello from World Pulse, Maha.

You have reached out to World Pulse, and we are grateful for your presence. You may want to introduce yourself to Urmila Chanam, a WP sister in India who has formed a campaign to educate women and girls about menstruation sanitation. Here is her link http://worldpulse.com/user/3715

I act as a volunteer World Pulse welcomer for new WP members and listener for other journal entries. This is some of the most exciting and rewarding work I've ever done. Through this effort, I have become a world volunteer.

I am wondering whether you have found any World Pulse efforts that really stir you to action. Our searchable site has so many examples of females empowering each other through education and encouragement, that there is certain to have inspiration for all.

We'd love to hear from you again.

From New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Yvette

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