The Mukti adolescent team attended a capacity-building workshop for conducting a menstruation study under the Amplifying Community Voices (ACV) project in Diamond Harbour on 17th March 2023. Five representatives from four adolescent girl groups of four villages – Kuyemuri, Herebogopalpur, Dakshin Kashinagar and Purba Surendanagar- were present at the workshop. The ACV project is being supported by the “OAK Foundation”. “Rupantaran Foundation”, the resource agency of the ACV project, conducted the workshop. Mr. Pinaki Naiya and Ms. Krishna Bodak joined the session on behalf of Mukti.
The Rupantaran Foundation had identified some adolescent girl ACV members to conduct a survey at their respective places on menstruation-related issues, to identify the impact of the issues on society (and on girls in particular), and to determine how to address the issues. Their survey has confirmed that the topic of menstrual hygiene remains taboo in society and that many taboos are commonly placed on menstruating women. They are forbidden from religious practices and from entering temples. They are told to avoid pickles and salt. During the first menstruation, girls are forced to live in separate rooms so that they do not see sunlight. Menstruating girls are not allowed to go to school.
The Rupantaran Foundation organized the workshop to gather and share the data obtained by the adolescent groups of the Mukti ACV team and other partner adolescent groups. Participants were trained in conducting the surveys, talking to people about menstrual health and menstrual problems, addressing the problems, facilitating mindset change through different initiatives, etc.
Over the next two to three weeks, these participants will strategize with their group members to launch the survey. Each group would survey 30-40 households. By analyzing the survey data, problems would be prioritized and solution strategies would be identified.