Menstruation is an unavoidable process that occurs in fertile females, starting from the age of approximately 10 years, and continues till the woman enters menopause. Menstruation, much like most women related issues, has been considered a taboo subject in Nepal until recently. Even then, the awareness campaigns regarding this subject and other associated initiatives, are still to an extent tinted with an aura of discomfort. The secrecy and shame associated with this natural process, that afflicts almost half of the population at some point or the other, has historically proven detrimental in the furtherance of this section of the society.

Menstruating women are often secluded from religious activities, banished from their homes in rural villages for the duration of the period (Chhaupadi), and subject to dietary restrictions. The Government and different organizations might promote education, as a mode of female empowerment, but menstruation has been seen to cripple this movement as well. Due to non-availability of sanitary napkins, or unaffordability of the same, even females who have gotten an opportunity to be educated through various educational institutions, remain absent for the duration of their cycle. Lack of a separate bathroom for girls, and other hygiene related facilities has also had a role to play in their absence from schools. As a result, girls miss out on crucial aspects of their education, and in most cases, even drop out altogether.

Education is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life. Education, and lack thereof, is decisive of employment opportunities, earning potential, status enjoyed in society, and ultimately the quality of life of an individual. When a natural process, which is not under the control of any individual, hinders this essential aspect of life; the society itself loses out on productive members, and is not able to carry on developing as per its actual potential.

Therefore, the aim of this initiative is to promote education among school going girls through the distribution of sanitary napkins which will help curtail the problems caused by other methods adopted by them during menstruation, for example – the use of rags which need to be washed and reused. Such a project is expected to significantly raise the number of girls who will then attend school and therefore, will aid in the overall promotion of education among females.

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