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Haryana

Haryana women bleeding openly during menstruation: PU study

December 09, 2019 06:26 AM

COURTESY TIMES OFINDIA DEC 9
Hardik.Anand@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

A study conducted by Panjab University professor Rajesh Gill and her team has found women and girls in the rural pockets of Haryana compromising with their health during menstruation due to lack of knowledge and cultural fixation.


The study, published in the book ‘Gender, Culture and Honour’, found 2% of its sample of surveyed women bleeding openly during menstruation.

Another 3% were found to be using old reused cotton cloth, while 48% were found using cotton cloth and 44% using sanitary napkins.

The women were surveyed in three districts each of Haryana and Punjab. All the cases of women not using anything during menstruation were found in Haryana, especially in its most-backward district of Nuh (earlier Mewat).

The study stated, “It was astonishing to find women in our sample who said they did not use any material during menstruation. The women respondents narrated that some of them sometimes wore two undergarments. Some of them use two underskirts and keep wiping the trickling blood with the skirts.”

“Some of them innovatively lift the ends of the skirt and tuck them on the hips of the opposite side so there is more cloth to absorb the flowing blood. Quite a few of them admitted to not be wearing any undergarments as they found it uncomfortable and had rashes by wearing them,” the study noted.

“It was observed during the fieldwork that menstruating women and girls would keep on cleaning the floor, wherever they used to sit. They also revealed that they used a piece of thick cloth, especially kept for this purpose, which they kept underneath, on the bed, while sleeping, so as to protect the bed from getting stained,” it noted further.

The study found that the women not using any material worked and sweat hard during menstruation. The girls, however, were not allowed to go to school during menstruation, as many of them were made to drop out fearing elopement as they attain puberty.

The team surveyed more than 3,600 menstruating women in 18 villages and towns of Haryana and Punjab. It was found that around 60% of the women and girls using sanitary napkins belonged to urban areas. Around 68% of the women using old reused cloth belonged to Haryana.

The survey team found the taboos related to menstruation to such an extent in Haryana that daughters feared sharing such information with their mothers.

“Our research team was staying with a family in a village in Haryana during field-work. The young daughter in this family was menstruating, but had concealed the fact from her mother, who scolded our girls for spoiling the bathroom, which in fact had been messed up by her own daughter,” the study noted.

The study was conducted at Centre of Excellence in Cultural Fixation on Honour: a Gender Audit of Punjab and Haryana, which was awarded to Panjab University by the University Grants Commission under the scheme of CPEPA (Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area) in 2011

 
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