Women of Okhaldhunga and Their Self-Made Sanitary Pads: A Journey Towards Change
The women of Okhaldhunga have started making their own sanitary pads. The women of different age groups of the district have started making sanitary pads themselves by applying the skills they have learned to make pads through various means. Pad making training was organized two years ago under the leadership of a group of teenagers on the occasion of Safe Menstruation Day, which is celebrated on May 28 every year. Laxmi Banyia of Siddhicharan Municipality-9 said that they have made the required sanitary pads themselves using the skills learned in the training. She says that it has become easier to use the pads made by themselves and she has saved money when she does not have to buy pads in the market. “It simply came to our notice then. I should have gone to the market and bought it whenever I wanted, ”she said.“ Now that I have learned to make pads myself, it has become very easy. She said that the conversion training organized for the adolescents has helped her and her close friends to make the necessary pads.
According to Basantaa Khatri, a teenager from Siddhicharan Municipality-11, it is more effective to make a pad that can be washed and reused after using it once during menstruation. Khatri is also teaching other teenagers in the community the skill of making pads that he has learned. “I used to buy and use pads available in the market. Now I make it myself. I have been teaching my friends to be comfortable about it, ”said Khatri. Adolescent Campaigner Sujana KC says that the attendance of menstruating girls in school has also increased after learning to make pads. In the past, teenagers who went to school four days a month during menstruation now go to school regularly using their own pads. ‘Menstruation is a normal process but it has a huge impact on a girl/woman’s life. KC used to say that she could not go to school when she was menstruating.
Siddhicharan Municipality has also given training in making pads for local women. After receiving training from the municipality, those who used old cloth locks in the past have started using their own pads. A few months ago, the municipality had trained 14 members of the women’s cooperative to make cloth pads. Sarita Tamang, an official of the Women and Children’s Branch of the municipality, said that they have been taught to make pads under practical skills for women’s awareness and empowerment. She said that the local women have benefited from the training and other women will also be given training considering its effectiveness. “There was a demand from women and we have taught the women of the cooperative the skill of making pads by realizing the need,” said Tamang. “It was very effective.” Now our goal is to include others in such training. ‘
In Nepali society, it is customary to interpret menstruation in conjunction with religion and culture. Although it still takes time to understand the importance of making sanitary pads in a society where menstruation is not a normal process, engineers say that every woman should know how to make and use pads. Health worker Sharmila Rai suggests using the pad properly and paying attention to hygiene as not paying attention to the necessary hygiene during menstruation can seriously affect the health of women. “Menstruation is a natural process. However, some women have long-term health problems when they think it is unnatural, do not discuss it openly and do not pay much attention to hygiene. ‘- Rai said: It is even better to use pads. ‘She said that women need to be taught not only how to make pads but also how to properly manage used pads.
- Saraswati Baniya/ Okhaldhunga
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