Nun­nery ob­serves men­stru­a­tion day

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam

Men­stru­a­tion mat­ters to ev­ery­one, ev­ery­where. This is the un­apolo­getic theme of this year’s glob­ally cel­e­brated men­strual hy­giene Day. So­cial taboos, neg­a­tive norm and em­bar­rass­ment mean that men­stru­a­tion is too of­ten not given the at­ten­tion it de­serves. This is true de­spite the fact that half of the world men­stru­ates. Ad­di­tion­ally men­strual hy­giene has im­por­tant im­pli­ca­tions for women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in ed­u­ca­tion and the econ­omy as well as for the en­vi­ron­ment that we all share ( for ex­am­ple it is es­ti­mated that the av­er­age North Amer­i­can will have to dis­pose of nearly 13,000 tam­pons and pads in her life­time ).

In order to help break the si­lence around this im­por­tant is­sue the Bhutan Nuns Foun­da­tion or­ga­nized a com­mu­nity event at Pema Chol­ing Nun­nery in Tang, Bumthang yes­ter­day. The event which had sup­port from SNV and PHED (Pub­lic Health and Engi­neer­ing Di­vi­sion) un­der the Min­istry of Health through the Aus­tralian Aid fund­ing in­cluded a key­note ad­dress by the Dzongkhag Health Of­fi­cer , a lively de­bate be­tween two teams of nuns, as well as the launch of a pro­gramme en­cour­ag­ing the man­u­fac- tur­ing and use of re­us­able san­i­tary nap­kins.

Nun­ner­ies and com­mu­ni­ties lo­cated in closer prox­im­ity to the cap­i­tal are of­ten the tar­get for large scale pub­lic health and en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ter­ven­tion; this makes Pema Chol­ing, lo­cated in ru­ral Bumthang and home to some of the most well ed­u­cated nuns in the coun­try, an ideal site for this kind of event. Nuns also have the po­ten­tial to be­come im­por­tant com­mu­nity-based sources of ac­cu­rate and pos­i­tive in­for­ma­tion about men­strual health.

Bhutan Nun Foun­da­tion’s role was to co-or­di­nate be­tween the donors and nun­ner­ies, a role that they have suc­cess­fully filled many times in the past. They hope not only to bring this im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion to nuns and the com­mu­nity at large but also that they can use this ex­pe­ri­ence to plan fu­ture health and ed­u­ca­tional for both lay and re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties through­out the coun­try.

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