The power of a piece of cloth
Being a girl or woman is pretty hard sometimes. In some places in the world girls are forced to be child brides, in others they are treated worse than second class citizens and have very little rights, in the US their rights are slowly being chipped away at (starting with reproductive health rights), and so on and so forth.
You get the picture.
Some of the issues for women stem from the fact that we are viewed as solely baby makers (even though it *technically* takes two to create a human). Add on top of that menstruation.
If any men are reading this and you feel uncomfortable, grow up.
In parts of the developing world when a girl or woman gets her period, she doesn’t always have access to sanitary pads or tampons because they can be quite expensive. She can also be isolated in her community because menstruation is seen as a stigma. This means she tends to be out of school quite a bit and doesn’t end up with an education (we’re assuming here she is even allowed to attend school and not married off right away because that does still happen).
If she doesn’t get an education, then she’s unable to advance further in society and try to build some sort of life for herself.
What’s more is hygiene issues. If she’s unable to be and stay clean during the time she has her period, health issues develop (think reproductive infections and illnesses).
It’s pretty damn amazing how much such a small piece of cloth (or something like it) can help empower a girl and make her feel less isolated or shunned within her own community.
It’s definitely not something I’ve had to personally face, but can only imagine the difficulty such girls come across in certain parts of the world. Give a young girl the chance to be in control of her health and body, and she might just have a chance to grow into a strong woman.