Government data shows that nearly 70% of women aged 15-24 in Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Chhattisgarh use cloth for protection during menstruation, even with India’s average of 49.6%.
On the other hand, in cities like Chandigarh (10.7%) and Delhi (15.9%), this share is very low.
Across India, in at least four states, more than 65% of women of the said age group use cloth during their menstrual period – Uttar Pradesh (69.4%), Assam (69.1%), Chhattisgarh (68.6%) and Bihar (67.5%) According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21).
“Using a hygienic method to protect the menstrual cycle is important to women’s health and personal hygiene. In NFHS-5, women aged 15 to 24 were asked what method or methods they use to protect their menstrual cycle. In India, 64% use sanitary napkins, and 50 % use cloth and 15% use locally prepared wipes.The report said that 78% of women in this age group use a hygienic method to protect their menstrual cycle.
In the previous survey, NFHS-4 (2015-16), in India, 42% were using sanitary napkins, 62% using cloth, and 16% using locally prepared wipes. “Overall, 58% of women in this age group use a healthy method to protect their menstrual cycle,” says NFHS-4.
Moreover, the rate of women using safe menstrual products was lowest in Bihar (59.2%), Madhya Pradesh (60.9%) and Meghalaya (65.3%), according to NFHS-5.
The survey adds that locally prepared wipes, sanitary pads, tampons and menstrual cups are healthy ways to protect. She also says that respondents may report multiple ways to protect during menstruation.
It indicates that women with 12 or more years of education are twice as likely to use a healthy method as women who have not attended school – 90% versus 44%.
“Women in the richest quintile are twice as likely to use a healthy method as women in the lowest affluent quintile (95% vs. 54%). The report adds that 73% of rural women use a healthy method to protect their menstrual cycle compared to 90% of women. in urban areas”.
essential for health
Good menstrual hygiene is essential to the health and dignity of girls and women. Discussions about menstrual hygiene are important for teenage girls to clarify myths and misconceptions about menstruation.
Improving menstrual hygiene is important from the point of view of personal comfort and increased mobility. It also reduces the possibility of infection resulting from poor hygiene practices during menstruation.
Equipping girls with knowledge and skills related to maintaining menstrual hygiene improves school attendance among girls, who may not go to school during those days or even drop out of school altogether.
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