In a notable period of time, India has said to free itself from the clutches of the unusual traditions where women were said to be ‘untouchable’ during their menstrual cycle. As the time passed, women were empowered and were made educated regarding the harms of using cloth. As time passed they shifted to sanitary napkins or pads to safeguard themselves from the various diseases and infections. However, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV, more than 62% of young women in the country still use cloth for menstrual protection instead of sanitary pads.
As many as 62% young women in the country in the age group 15 to 24 years still use cloth for menstrual protection, as per the national family health survey (NFHS) IV whose findings were released recently. According to the report which pertains to the years 2015-16, a staggering 82% young women in Bihar still depend on clothes for protection during their menstrual cycle. The situation is almost similar in Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh where the percentage of young women using cloth during their periods is 81% in each state.
The report surveyed the percentage of women who used “hygienic methods” of menstrual protection which were categorized as either locally prepared napkins or other sanitary napkins and tampons. The survey found that 42 % young women in the country used sanitary napkins while 16 % used locally prepared napkins. Majority of women in rural areas did not use a hygienic method of menstrual protection with the survey findings indicating that only 48% of those surveyed in rural India used sanitary napkins during their menstrual cycle as against 78% in urban parts of the country.
The report indicates that there is a direct link between education and wealth and use of a hygienic method of menstrual protection. “Women with 12 or more years of schooling are more than four times as likely to be using a hygienic method as women with no schooling at all. Similarly, women from the highest wealth quintile are more than four times as likely to use a hygienic method as women from the lowest wealth quintile,” the report said.