India: Taboos are bad for girls’ health

The stigma around menstruation puts India’s adolescents at risk

The World Today Updated 4 January 2021 Published 1 April 2015 2 minute READ

Madhumita Das

Senior Technical Specialist on Men and Masculinities, International Centre for Research on Women

Anne Stangl

Senior Behavioural Scientist with a focus on stigma and discrimination, International Centre for Research on Women

Adolescent girls experience great difficulties during menstruation in many countries. This problem is particularly pernicious in countries such as India, where accessing feminine hygiene products can be challenging due to a combination of factors, including poverty, a lack of information, and the stigma surrounding the subject. In India, talking about menstruation is virtually forbidden in most families. As a result, when adolescent girls start their period, they are often left in the dark about the changes happening to their bodies or are given misinformation rooted in myth.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.