Indian cricket team breaks taboo: sanitary napkin advertising on shirts

Indian cricket team breaks taboo: sanitary napkin advertising on shirts

It's a breakthrough for the hundreds of millions of Indian women and girls who suffer from deep-seated taboos around menstruation. The Rajasthan Royals, a renowned cricket team from Jaipur, will advertise Niine, an Indian manufacturer of sanitary pads.

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It is not the only groundbreaking development in the menstrual field for India's approximately 650 million women. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said during his Independence Day speech that access to affordable sanitary pads and tampons is indispensable for the empowerment of women and girls. Never before had an Indian leader done so. This significantly lowered the ratings on the rates in Free Bets in India.

Menstrual Leave

And earlier this month, India's fast-growing food delivery company Zomato announced that its female and transgender employees would be allowed to take an additional ten days off per year due to menstrual complaints. 'There should be no shame or stigma attached to requesting menstrual leave,' top executive Deepinder Goyal wrote in an email to his staff.

Menstruation has been a taboo subject in Indian culture since time immemorial. Women who menstruate are considered unclean, barred from religious ceremonies and from temples, and sometimes even from their own kitchens. It took a Supreme Court ruling (it happened in 2018) to end the ban that denied women of childbearing age access to Sabarimala in Kerala, one of the country's most important pilgrimage sites.

In Indian families, menstruation is not talked about very much, if at all. According to Unicef, 71 percent of girls only find out what it is when they have their first bleeding. Men usually only find out when they get married, and sometimes not even then. Out of shame, one in three girls stays away from school during menstruation. For the same reason, many women in India do not do paid work (21 percent versus 49 percent worldwide in 2019).

Cotton rags

What an action like that of the Rajasthan Royals doesn't change is access to sanitary napkins. Some 70 percent of Indian women cannot afford to buy it, and in rural areas, it is often not even available. That means hundreds of millions of women make do with cotton rags, newspapers, or leaves every month. Not to mention other problems surrounding hygiene, such as lack of clean water and privacy.

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Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu who designed a machine to make cheap sanitary pads, calls breakthroughs like the Royals' shirt advertising crucial because it reaches women as well as men. He confessed to The Guardian that he himself was totally ignorant about menstruation until he got married. After that, he initially thought that his wife menstruated every Friday.

Taboos around menstruation also play out in other parts of South Asia, including Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Nepal, women and girls are banished to special menstrual huts outside the village during their monthly period, reported There they sit alone for days, in unhygienic conditions. They are also vulnerable to sexual violence there.

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