Menstruation

Notes: 
  • Make copies of Part I and Part 2 of Paro's stories given in Handouts 10 and 11 to hand out to the two groups to prepare for the role play.
  • Draw the cycle diagram on a chart paper or make copies of the illustration in this section.
  • Girls might not be comfortable talking during this activity/session so the facilitator should make it a point to involve each participant in the discussion. Start from your own experiences.
  • Don't give any answer that you are not sure of.
  • Be patient if the girls feel shy during this session and are not ready to talk openly.
Materials: 
  • Handouts with "Story of Paro and her Friends" Part I and 2
  • The Menstruation Illustration
  • Chart Paper
  • Marker Board
Time Required: 
One hour
Objective: 
  • To inform the girls about the functioning of the woman's reproductive body, in particular the menstruation cycle.
  • To discuss the importance of personal hygiene and care of the body.
Instructions: 
  1. Ask the girls to sit in a circle.
  2. Ask the girls what they know about menstruation and where they received their information.
  3. Ask them to list some of the societal perceptions and taboos about menstruation prevalent in our society.
  4. After the listing exercise, ask the girls to form two groups. Ensure that both groups have a similar number of members.
  5. Give one group Part I of Paro’s Story (Handout 10) and give the other group Part 2 of Paro’s Story (Handout 11). Explain to the group members that they should read the story and then select some members to act out the story in front of the entire group.
  6. Give each group about 30 minutes to read the story and have the selected ‘actors’ rehearse their part before coming back to perform in the large group. The girls can use the copy of the story Handout to read out their lines during the enactment of the story.
  7. After the enactment of Paro’s Story Part I, ask girls if the story seems realistic to them. What did they like and dislike about the story. Then encourage them to ask questions and clarify any misgivings or concerns they may have about menstruation. If required, show the Menstruation Illustration (Handout 12) to explain the menstrual cycle to the girls.
  8. Ask the second group to enact their story. After the enactment of Paro’s Story Part 2, ask girls if the story seems realistic to them. What did they like and dislike about the story?
  9. Then show them the chart on the fact sheet to discuss the changing consistency of the white discharge. Engage the girls in a discussion about personal hygiene and maintaining good health following the story.
  10. At the end, use the questions below to discuss the stories and content in greater detail.
  11. If desired, give the Menstruation Quiz (Handout 13) to recap at the end of the session.
     


 

Discussion Questions: 
  • Should women be prohibited from doing certain things when they are having their menstruation cycle? Why or why not?
  • Where do societal taboos around menstruation stem from? Do you think this has anything to do with gender and sexuality? What and why?
  • What are the common problems women experience during menstruation? (For example, access to clean cloth or sanitary napkins, privacy to change and clean, pain, discomfort, etc.)
  • Are there any days in the menstruation cycle when a woman is more likely to conceive? Why do you think so? Is it important for young women to have this information?
  • Does the consistency of the white discharge change during the menstrual cycle? Why is it important to know about this?
  • When do you think young women should see a health provider about menstrual problems?
  • In our community, what (or how much) do you think young women know about these issues?
  • When do they come to know of this – before or after the start of their first menstruation cycle? How do they usually come to know?
  • Do you think there is an appropriate age for girls to learn about their body and how to care for it? What age? Why?
  • Do you think it is important for women to maintain personal hygiene? Why and how?
  • From where should young women access information on these issues? Who do you think should provide this information to them? What do you see as the role of the parents in information sharing? Why?