There are various banishing myths surrounding menstruation in Pakistan.
Adolescent girls are told not to take bath, drink cold water or eat spicy foods when on their period. These are just some of the myths about menstruation.
Cultural and religious restrictions also contribute to banishment of a menstruating woman. Ironically, a natural process responsible for very existence of human race, is considered a taboo. Withholding of information from girls prior to their first period makes them too ignorant about menstruation hygiene facilities. In many countries, women have started breaking silence about their periods as part of ‘menstrual activism’.
They are sharing pictures of blood-stained sheets on social media to challenge the stigma associated with menstruation. Activists say the subject should not be hidden. But in Pakistan, the taboo remains largely unchallenged so far.
In 2016, a few students of BNU, Lahore did initiate a campaign to break the stigma by putting up messages on sanitary pads over a college wall. However, while there were messages of support, the response was mainly negative and the university faced backlash on social media.
Will an open debate on the subject begin in Pakistan anytime soon?