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Menstrual Hygiene Day being observed today


Nepalnews
2021 May 28, 13:28, Kathmandu
Photo: Menstrual Hygiene Day-Global/ facebook

The Menstrual Hygiene Day, which is celebrated on May 28 every year, is being observed in Nepal too today. Due to the coronavirus and the prohibitory orders that have restricted movement the day is being celebrated virtually through various social media platforms.

Menstruation is just a natural biological phenomenon. However, in Nepal the word menstruation is associated with numerous social stigmas. In fact, it is also associated with several cultural and traditional practices and there are many classifications based on that. Even though there have been developments and progress in many areas throughout the world, women in general still cannot freely speak about menstruation or the sanitary napkins that are necessary during menstruation. This has gravely affected the reach of healthcare services among women.

The Forum for Women, Law and Development has also mentioned that due to the various restrictions placed on women who are going through their menstruation, women have not been able to fully enjoy the provisions mentioned in Article 16 of the Constitution of Nepal that states that every citizen has the right to live with dignity.

The government too has not been able to provide any relief as such to women. It still levies 13 per cent tax on products that are used during menstruation. Moreover, Nepal also falls in the select group of countries that levies customs duty on raw materials that are imported to manufacture products like sanitary napkins. Due to these taxes and customs duty such products become expensive and are out of the reach of many poor women, informed Sabin Shrestha, Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law and Development.

He further shared since sanitary products are expensive many poor women are compelled to use home-made products during menstruation. This, Shrestha said not only is unhygienic but also has a long-term effect on the health of such women.

Moreover, due to the coronavirus and prohibitory orders the cost of sanitary napkins has increased significantly. As a result, many young girls and women have been impelled to use hand-made products. Shrestha mentioned that the government should exempt taxes and customs duty on such products and also raw materials used to manufacture them. Instead of categorising such products as luxury goods the government should classify them as necessities, he stated.

Menstrual Hygiene Day May 28 prohibitory orders sanitary napkins

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