Meghan Markle Calls For An End To Period Shaming As She Pens International Women's Day Essay
With this week marking International Women's Day, it's the perfect moment to think about the issues affecting women not just at home, but all over the world. One thing that's definitely worth considering is the culture of period shaming, which Suits actor Meghan Markle is highlighting in an essay she's just written for Time.
Explaining how periods can affect your potential, Meghan remarks on a recent humanitarian trip to India where she saw direcrtly just how adversely menstruation is affecting young women.
"One hundred and thirteen million adolescent girls between the ages of 12-14 in India alone are at risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstrual health," Meghan writes. "During my time in the field, many girls shared that they feel embarrassed to go to school during their periods, ill equipped with rags instead of pads, unable to participate in sports, and without bathrooms available to care for themselves, they often opt to drop out of school entirely.
She continues: "With minimal dialogue about menstrual health hygiene either at school or home due to the taboo nature of the subject, many girls believe their bodies are purging evil spirits, or that they are injured once a month. This is a shame-filled reality they quietly endure. All of these factors perpetuate the cycle of poverty and stunt a young girl's dream for a more prolific future."
This misunderstanding also means that girls as so embarrassed and shamed by what is happening to them that many don't go to school or work on the days they are menstruating, often meaning they fall behind and sometimes end up dropping out of school. This not only alienates them but means they are less likely to have oppurtunities to succeed professionally and support themselves.
"When we empower girls hungry for education, we cultivate women who are emboldened to effect change within their communities and globally," Meghan concludes. "If that is our dream for them, then the promise of it must begin with us. Period."
You can't exactly disagree with that, can you?
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