Looking at the different Nepali words used to describe menstruation it can be said that having your period is still not accepted as a regular biological process in Nepal. Besides 'mahinawari' (what comes every month), the words 'para sarnu' (to stay away) and 'chhui hunu' (untouchable) are used to refer to menstruation. By conducting a program in high schools on Menstrual Hygiene Management ICA Nepal would like school girls to manage their period with dignity and without discomfort or fear.
"At the end of the first month of my new job at a paint company I got my period. Except me there were all male staff. Since there was no dustbin in the washroom to change pads, the only option was for me to go home to change pads. As it is a matter of shame to talk about periods with boys I did not asked anyone to have a dustbin in the washroom," explains Jyothsna. This is one of the challenges Nepali women face, but should not, as menstruation is a biological process in women.
The program consist of two major activities: 1. Educating school girls on menstruation (including menstrual cycle); 2. Creating a comfortable environment to talk openly about menstruation. This will help to enhance their access and knowledge about menstrual process as well which will ultimately lead to minimization of social restrictions. To ensure the proper disposal, ways of disposal (burning, burring, incinerating, vermiform composting) are offered.
The program will bring a long term impact in the lives of girls, both biologically and socially. Educating school girls on menstrual hygiene will help them to remain healthy, free from infections, more confident and positive. Also, the enhanced knowledge on menstruation will enlighten them against the malpractices during menstruation. In the long term, women will be more aware about their reproductive health, enjoy their reproductive rights properly and rise from social domination.