Diksha Srivastava and Sudhanand Prasad Lal
Telari, Madhumakhiya (Anei), Disti. - Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The societal pressure to keep menstruation a taboo significantly affects women's health-related behaviour in response to menstrual concerns. Understanding their decisions becomes more accessible while considering the social context in which women reside. However, societal norms still stigmatize women's social exposure and participation during menstruation. Therefore, evaluating the level of social participation of women during menstruation becomes important, and to find this level of social participation, a study was conducted at Pilkhi and Muhammadpur villages of Sakra and Muraul Blocks, respectively of Muzaffarpur District of Bihar among 80 respondents. Further, the level of social participation before and after the introduction of the Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Sanitary Napkin (JASSN) was evaluated using Pretest-Posttest assessment methods and results indicated positive changes in the level of social participation in the rural community. The significance level was examined using the parametric paired 't' and non-parametric Wilcoxon Singed Pair Rank tests. Finally, the level of social participation using the paired 't' test was 9.325, the 'Z' value of the Wilcoxon Singed Pair Rank Test was -7.779, and the significance level was 1 per cent. Thus, JASSN, along with the support of Community-Based Organizations (CBO) viz., ASHA & JEEViKA. Both the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and JEEViKA (Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society) play crucial roles in community healthcare and livelihood promotion in rural areas. ASHAs act as healthcare workers, providing essential health services, including menstrual hygiene education. Similarly, JEEViKA empowers rural women by promoting self-help groups and income-generating activities, contributing to women's economic and social participation. It also enhances women's social participation during menstruation by providing accessible menstrual hygiene products and raising awareness, breaking societal barriers, and fostering gender inclusivity.