Ramadan, Women and Menstruation: Forcing virtues down our throat

“When I first started fasting regularly, I would be forced by others in the family to wake for Sehri, the predawn meal, even when I was menstruating lest the male members would sense that I was menstruating. I would then have to fake fast and say prayers before the elder males in the family. I followed the sequence for a long time. Till I realized that these men were adults and were supposed to know about menstruation, if not by virtue of their education, by means of religion at least. Many of the women I know did the same and still do the same. I can’t figure appropriate reason for the practice but when I asked my mother why I was being asked to wake for sehri and fake fast even when i wasn’t, she said it was shameful to give everyone a hint about your periods. I experience it, my mother did and every woman does. Yet there is more shame in discussing it than the act of a man passing sexually explicit comments on a roadside.

The practice of trying to bury this little uncomfortable conversation at home in turn buries a women in public.”


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