Receiving menstrual education for the first time was an experience I would never forget. The giggles and constant side conversations with friends, all while being confused and excited, were an experience for the books.
We entered the auditorium like a herd of confused sheep and took our seats, unaware that the subject of the day's lesson would be so personal. There was a solemn silence until we saw our favorite teacher, Mrs. Robinson, on the stage.
As she started discussing the topic, there was a mixture of curiosity and nervous laughter in the room. She started by explaining to us what menstruation really was. She described the process of releasing blood from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one month. She showed us diagrams to explain the process in greater detail and explained how and why it happens.
By the end of the first 15 minutes, most of us were astonished and in a state of utter confusion. It was like a whole new world that had always existed, and we were now a part of it. Mrs. Robinson understood how overwhelmed we were and talked to us about how normal and natural a process it was and how we needed to embrace it. She dispelled various myths and taboos surrounding periods. She discussed various notions, from the idea that menstruating women were impure to the belief that exercise during periods was harmful.
The most inspiring part of the lesson was when Mrs. Robinson shared her own period experiences with us and gave us practical advice. She discussed the various menstrual hygiene products available, dealing with discomforts, and how to track cycles. At the end of the session, the giggles and hesitance had turned into open conversations. The girls were sharing their own experiences and asking questions without embarrassment.
As I look back on this memory, I realize how that one lesson at school influenced me greatly. It encouraged my peers and me to look at menstruation as a tool of empowerment rather than the contrary. It encouraged us to embrace this natural process and have open conversations on the topic. We realized the importance of menstrual education and the role it plays in creating a well-informed and aware society. It is necessary to have the right knowledge and skills for young girls to navigate their way through womanhood confidently.
Photo by: https://yourstory.com
Written by: Aliza Iqbal
Edited by: Prahlad Madhu