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Confusion and Making Sense of Menstruation: A Micro-level Study of Village Khagawal, Chandauli District, Uttar Pradesh


Menstruation is a natural process which has significant and irrevocable changes on a woman’s life. Navigating the entire process is no small feat, and the added confusion in the age of information overload often complicates the situation rather than simplifying it. In India, discourses surrounding menstruation are still restricted to sanitary napkins while overlooking menstrual disorders, understanding and examining the agencies responsible for it. Many a time, ancient pearls of wisdom are being dismissed as taboos without apprehending its deeper sciences which helped women in traversing the entire process since time immemorial. This research is an attempt to view menstruation holistically by giving importance to a woman’s personal experiences and to find out how menstruation is integrated into the local culture. To accomplish the research, we conducted a questionnaire survey amongst 40 females aged 13-49 years and three focus group discussions to explore the coping mechanisms, the grass-root problems the rural girls and women face during menstruation in village Khagawal located in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh. The findings revealed that rudimentary information concerning menstruation was present amongst the respondents— the respondents are aware of the traditional knowledge and ways but completely ignorant regarding the scientific roots of the practices. Some facets of hygiene need to be addressed.


Menstruation, Culture and Tradition, Menstrual Disorders, Subjective Experience, Menstrual Cycle



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