Blogger Series #5: Health Over Stigma

Continuing our Blogger Series as a part of our Health Over Stigma campaign unmarried women from all around India are sharing their stories/experiences related to the stigma we face in regards to our body, sexual health & desires. It is only through starting an open and safe dialogue can we end the stigma and normalize these conversations. Read more about our Week of Action here.

As this story shows us we have internalized the stigma that it is all around us, it’s time we recognize it & call it out!

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One day, I was out at a chemist and there were so many people buying medicines so I decided to wait aside for a minute and let the hustle and bustle reduce. What I saw next was something I never encountered before. Two different women. One bought a few medicines and a cough syrup (I think). The chemist stacked everything and put in a transparent polythene. The next woman buys a packet of sanitary napkins and she pays for it, grabs the packet and is about to leave when the shopkeeper stops her. He bends down to find something below the counter, takes out a black polythene and asks her to put the packet of sanitary napkins in the black bag. Why!? The women was confident/comfortable enough to carry “pads” without having the need to cover it like its a taboo. But one interruption by a man (read society) just forces her confidence to drop to zero. Why is a there a need to hide things that shouldn’t be a big deal to humans? Why do women have to lower down their voice before talking about periods or asking for pads in a chemist shop? We’ve done nothing wrong. This isn’t a punishment. This is natural and if we’re ready to accepted it, why won’t others? I had read these kinds of incidents before but watching it with my own eyes made me question (backward) society little more than usual.

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