The shame of menstruation

Because of the shame associated with menstruation, students in Malawi reported that they dry their menstrual protection under their matresses. When they have no water, unwashed cloth, hardened by dried blood is reused. This dirty and moist menstrual protection is a breeding ground for bacteria, writes Anna Dahlqvist in her book It’s Only Blood. “Many menstruators speak of rashes, skin irritations reaching down their thighs.”

This bacteria also can lead to dangerous urinary tract infections.

“What happens when menstrual shame clashes with poverty?” Dahlqvist asks. “Continuous human rights violations follow in the tracks of menstrual shame. Violations of the right to freedom and dignity. The right to equality. The right to education, health and work.”

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