Social Stigma Centred around Menstruation: A Reflective Review
P.S. Vaveine Pao¹
¹Department of Anthropology, Manipur University, Imphal – 795003
DOI Link :: https://doi-ds.org/doilink/01.2023-14175947/Frontier Anthropology/06.2021-53228984/V11/2022/A6
Submitted: July 27, 2022
Accepted: January 18, 2023
Published: January 31, 2023
Frontier Anthropology, 2022, 11: 51-58
©Anthropological Society of Manipur
KEYWORDS Menstruation, menstrual disorders, morbidities, taboo, stigmatisation
Background: Menstruation is a monthly periodic bleeding cycle as a part of the female reproductive system that indicates sexual maturity. However, abnormality in the natural cycle, i.e. menstrual disorders, are a major concern for women as it stimulates numerous gynaecological morbidities affecting reproductive health. Even if the disorder is multi-factorial, the social norms, taboos and stigma centred around menstruation worldwide have intensely triggered the normal cycle leading to a swift rise in disorders affecting the reproductive profile of a woman.
Materials and Methods: The present study is a reflective review based on the secondary data available on the stigma and taboos centred around menstruation. The secondary data were compiled, analysed and reviewed.
Findings: Many societies stigmatise menstruation and its disorders. Social stigmatisation leads to poor knowledge and unhealthy attitudes that may directly or indirectly link to menstrual health and hygiene. Raising awareness is one of the foremost strategies for improving menstrual health problems. Open communication on menstrual issues needs to be encouraged to make adolescent girls accessible to the parents, especially the mother and health care providers when they need help.
Conclusion: Every societal unit needs to cooperate to promote better reproductive health knowledge. A strategic programme will be significant in dealing with this issue as it is a sensitive topic based on social obligations and restrictions.
Corresponding Author: P.S. Vaveine Pao, Research Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Manipur University, Imphal – 795003.