Naina Jha is the Program and Outreach Officer at Patna. She is a PR professional working with Greymatters Communications. She has worked with hospitals, advertising and PR agencies and has been working with ICWA to educate slum kids since 2005. She has also worked as a freelancer with Gender Resource Centre, Patna. She loves working for the uplifting of slum children and gender sensitisation and wishes to make this society a better place to live in. She is a budding writer, avid learner, traveller, and a happy soul. A sociology graduate who holds a masters degree in human resources, she has a few more degrees up her sleeves but most importantly she is a mother to a beatific little angel.
Discussing Puberty and Menstruation with Adolescent Girls
Naina Jha conducted a workshop on ‘Puberty and Menstruation’ for 45 girls of Std. IVth to XIIth at School of Creative Learning on 8 August, 2017.
The workshop focused on educating young girls about the effect of puberty on their changing body systems and encouraged them to take these experiences positively. The right amount of emotional and educational support is necessary to eliminate the possibility of negative symptoms, to perceive menstruation as a whole in a positive light and ultimately, to develop a higher self-esteem.
The workshop began by discussing the term puberty. A few of the students felt that it begins when a girl develops breasts and pubic hair. More critically, it is the journey from childhood to adulthood, replete with bodily changes and transformation of emotional make-up which need to be viewed with normalcy. However, the most important change during puberty for a girl is menstruation (commonly known as periods), the fundamental process of which was explained in detail. It’s sad that a lot of women still consider menstrual blood impure.
A great amount of time was devoted to shatter myths about menstruation using real life examples. For instance, many students believed that washing hair or cutting nails is not allowed during menstruation. This myth, among many others, clearly overlooks the need for hygiene and proper healthcare thus imposing infeasible ideas upon the young impressionable minds.
The workshop concluded with an open house session where students shared their doubts about menstruation and womanhood. Some of them were about the best time to conceive or ways to reduce menstrual pain. For the former, the biological aspect of egg fertilization was elaborated on; while for the latter, besides medicines, a few yoga poses were recommended.
The students found the workshop extremely helpful and enlightening and promised to share the information along with the reality of myths to their friends.