As a female in a Western country i take it for granted that I benefit from certain key elements of knowledge about my body and its functions. Reproductive health was taught to me at school when I was around 10 or 11. i knew what I was supposed to do if I began menstruating. Contraception and abortion was explained in detail as I attended an all girl school which made discussion easier.
I take it for granted that not all women in the world have that benefit. In "developing" countries so many practices that are dangerous continue to abound as male arrogance still perpetuates that women are some "unclean" object when they are menstruating.
The main argument is that women are weak from blood loss so that is why there is a level of discrimination. I don't believe it. I find it utter nonsense.
In Hinduism (I use that term broadly), my grandparents warned me that I could not partake in any rituals if I was at that time. I was banned from cutting any vegetables or preparing meals or assisting with the sacrificial area for prayer that day. I did not and do not suffer the same tribulations as the women in the highlighted article do. At the Muslim school I attended, women were not allowed to the mosque if they were menstruating as well.
In my family, when women came home from childbirth, they were not allowed to leave the house or have visitors for some days after. My grandma explained that they weren't clean yet. Reflecting, I realize it it probably due to the bleeding associated post childbirth.
The following article is the reason I felt the need to express the previous sentiments. We have to wonder at what risks women are exposed to because of ignorance, arrogance, patriarchal dominance even superstition in parts of the world.
For the full article: http://jezebel.com/what-life-is-like-when-getting-your-period-means-you-ar-1542273510
In Jamu, Radha's village in western Nepal, her status is lower than a dog's, because she is menstruating. She is only 16, yet, for the length of her period, Radha can't enter her house or eat anything but boiled rice. She can't touch other women – not even her grandmother or sister – because her touch will pollute them. If she touches a man or a boy, he will start shivering and sicken. If she eats butter or buffalo milk, the buffalo will sicken too and stop milking. If she enters a temple or worships at all, her gods will be furious and take their revenge, by sending snakes or some other calamity.
There is not space even for one person to lie down, but tonight there will be three. Radha's relative Jamuna is also menstruating, and she'll be sleeping here along with her one-year old son. Still, Radha appreciates the company, as another woman is some protection against drunken men who conveniently forget about untouchability when it comes to rape. Although the stigma keeps women silent, rapes of women sleeping in these sheds are common enough to appear as occasional items in newspapers in faraway Kathmandu, and common enough for women to look down when they are mentioned. Also common are snake attacks.