Pasighat West legislator Ninong Ering on Monday called for viewing menstruation benefits through the larger lens of removing the gender gap and exhorted women to break all glass ceilings that come their way.
Communeeti, a non-profit organisation working on community-centric policymaking and implementation, organised a webinar on “Policy and implementation challenges on menstrual health management” in partnership with Sommet Innovation and Research Foundation.
Ering, a former union minister and Lok Sabha member who had introduced the private member Menstruation Benefits Bill was the chief guest.
Ering, in his deliberation, spoke about breaking the taboo around menstruation and his experience of introducing the private members’ bill on menstruation benefits.
Calling the war against taboo a beautiful one, he said “whenever a taboo is broken, something vitalising happens.”
The legilsator talked about the history of affirmative action around menstruation in India and elsewhere and called for making workplaces conducive for women.
He also spoke of how his legislative initiative on this issue led to attention by media, civil society organisations and businesses leading to more affirmative action.
Ering also shared his experience of working with women self-help groups in his constituency and the satisfaction which comes from enabling the economic empowerment of women.
“The issue of menstruation benefits has to be seen with a larger lens of bridging the gender gap and removing hurdles which exist, either due to biological reasons, or due to societal biases,” he said while exhorted the womenfolk to be bold, ambitious and fearless.
Shalini Jha, founder of Project Alharh focusing on menstrual health in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, talked about her experience of working at grassroots during the double crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic and floods.
She talked about the need to accord top priority to menstrual health in policymaking and the need for systemic change.
Jha also shared her thoughts on the lack of representation of women on the decision-making table, social marginalisation, and layers of discrimination faced by women.
Priya Jyoti of Lady Hardinge Medical College spoke about health issues around menstruation and busted many myths prevalent in the society.