The article highlights one of the most debatable and controversial issues of
modern India in which women were banned to enter a temple just because it is a
prejudiced thing and there is a religious belief that women are not allowed to
enter during their menstrual period. This is not only the case of one state or
one temple various other taboos were not allowed during a menstrual period.
this the type of society and beliefs that we are giving to our younger
generation which predominantly affects the whole system of education? we will
see how the things written in the text are not the same when it comes to
practice so we have to become very conscious of such taboos and practices which
harness the rights and the sole purpose of mankind. Let's be honest! India is a
If places of worship and religious leaders open up their
doors and their minds to accept menstruation as a normal biological process,
just like breathing, then a lot of our work in menstrual health will be done.
the article discusses various other similar beliefs similar to the Sabarimala
case and also the comparative analysis of the menstrual period and the various
legal aspect related to menstruation.
Menstruation is the natural part of the reproductive cycle in which blood from
the uterus exits through the vagina. It is a natural process that first occurs
in girls usually between the age of 11 and 14 years and is one of the indicators
of the onset of puberty among them. Despite being a phenomenon unique to girls,
this has always been surrounded by secrecy and myths in many societies. Taboos
surrounding menstruation exclude women and girls from many aspects of social and
cultural life. Some of these are helpful, but others have potentially harmful
India is a type of country where the literacy rate is very low as
compared to other countries. According to the census of 2001, the overall
literacy rate works out to be 64.8 %, the male literacy rate is 75.3% and that
for females is 53.7%[i] and the condition is even more drastic in rural areas.
various unknown practices are happening throughout India primarily in rural
India and to talk or even discuss menstruation is considered a sin on the other
hand, we don't feel ashamed of discussing porn, masturbation, and other things
freely this shows the mentality of the people and not just focus towards
education related to menstruation.
In this article, we will primarily discuss
the Sabarimala temple issue which is practised for a long time, and women were
deprived of their rights we will discuss it and also look at such type of issues
in other issues.is it the problem of the Sabarimala temple or it is a practice
that has a broader reach?
The Sabarimala Temple Case
Sabarimala Sriayappa temple is dedicated to Lord ayyappa is the most famous
temple located in Kerala. there was a belief in the Sabarimala temple restricts
menstruating women (between the age of 10 and 50 years) from taking the
pilgrimage to Sabarimala. The restrictions find their source in the legend that
the temple deity, Swami Ayyappa, is a 'NaishtikaBrahmachari' (celibate)[ii].kerala
high court in 1991ordered in favour of the restriction by mentioning that the
restriction was in place throughout history and not discriminatory to the
constitution. In 2006, the Indian Young Lawyers Association challenged the ban
in Supreme Court.
However, the Kerala government appealed to the Supreme Court
that the beliefs and customs of devotees cannot be altered by employing a
judicial process and the priests' opinion is final. after that, the supreme
court referred this matter to a larger bench. various arguments were there in
favour of women entering the temple. the argument that menstruation would
pollute the temple premises is unacceptable since there is nothing "unclean" or
"impure" about a menstruating woman.
Discriminating based on the biological
factor exclusive to the female gender is unconstitutional as it violates
fundamental rights under Article 14 (equality), Article 15 (discrimination
abolition), and Article 17 (Untouchability abolition).by analyzing all the
parties the supreme court In 4-1 majority, the Supreme Court struck down
provisions of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry)
Rules, 1965 and allowed women, irrespective of their age, to enter Sabarimala
temple and worship the deity. So with that case, we conclude that how women
suffer during their menstrual period and what type of trauma they have to go
through they can't worship the temple and the religion they want it is
unconstitutional and also not favours morality and equality.
We have to understand that it is not the case of one particular temple,
religion, or state it is widely practised throughout the nation. As a girl,
Noorjehan Niaz remembers visiting the famous Muslim shrine of Haji Ali and
walking down the long causeway off the coastline in south Mumbai, pushing
through the throng to the inner chamber of the mosque where the grave of the
15th-century saint lies. Here, her parents taught her to press her head against
the grave and shower rose petals on to the green silk draping it.
In 2011, as an adult, she was shocked to find the entrance shut. She was allowed
into the mosque's other areas to pray but the shrine's trustees had decided that
only men were allowed inside. "The trustees said the ban was aimed at
'protecting' female worshippers from sexual attention because, when they bowed,
the pallu [loose end] of their saris fell, exposing their chest area which
aroused the men who might be looking at them," says Niaz.
As co-founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Indian Muslim Women's
Movement, BMMA), Niaz refused to accept the ban.
The BMMA filed a petition in the courts demanding the ban be lifted and pointing
out that even saints were born from wombs. Three years later, this bitter legal
battle is reaching an end, with the Mumbai high court expected to announce a
verdict on 18 January. If the judges rule that the ban must be lifted, it will
set a precedent for others fighting discrimination against women in places of
In India, it is only in churches where men and women enjoy equal rights of
worship. Temples and mosques practice discrimination routinely. In November, a
Hindu temple in Maharashtra suspended seven security guards after a female
devotee stepped on a platform to worship an idol. Women are barred from the
platform and temple priests performed a "purification" ceremony to rid it of the
"pollution" the woman had caused.
Young women across India launched a Happy To Bleed campaign on Facebook to
protest against the sexism of the temple authorities. The campaign urged women
to hold placards saying "Happy to Bleed", take a picture of themselves, and
upload it to their Facebook profile.
Aditya Gupta, who created a comic book and website called "Menstrupedia" to
educate young women and portray menstruation positively, posted: "Mr Prayar
Gopalakrishnan and everyone who thinks women are impure during their periods,
don't forget it's the same 'impurity' you survived on for nine months inside
your mother's womb".[iii]
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced a scheme for the
promotion of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19
years in rural areas. The scheme was initially implemented in 2011 in 107
selected districts in 17 States wherein a pack of six sanitary napkins called
"Freedays" was provided to rural adolescent girls for Rs. 6. From 2014 onwards,
funds are now being provided to States/UTs under the National Health Mission for
decentralized procurement of sanitary napkins packs for provision to rural
adolescent girls at a subsidized rate of Rs 6 for a pack of 6 napkins.
will continue to be responsible for the distribution, receiving an incentive of
Rs 1 per pack sold and a free pack of napkins every month for her personal use.
She will convene monthly meetings at the Aanganwadi Centres or other such
platforms for adolescent girls to focus on the issue of menstrual hygiene and
also serve as a platform to discuss other relevant SRH issues.
A range of IEC
material has been developed around MHS, using a 360-degree approach to create
awareness among adolescent girls about safe & hygienic menstrual health
practices which includes audio, video, and reading materials for adolescent
girls and job-aids for ASHAs and other field-level functionaries for
communicating with adolescent girls[iv].
There is a need for more substantive laws that will highlight such taboos and a
need for more campaigns that help school girls also know their rights and actual
truth regardless of religion and culture which is redundant and the constitution
itself does not guarantee. according to me such conservative thinking of
following such taboos is only because of not providing proper education which
not only affects themselves but also transfers this to the younger generation.
restricting women to enter a religious place and also harnessing individual
rights to live their life with dignity. A woman menstruates for about 7 years in
their whole life and to deny them the right to personal hygiene seems like a
crime that goes unpunished on a daily.
- Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, 2001
- kumar, Sabarimala Temple Issue � Customs Vs Constitution21, 2019
- Dhillon, Will India open its temples and mosques to menstruating women?,
- National Health Mission, 2020