Highlight Indonesia: Myths and menstrual taboos


Menstrual cups could also be taking Western international locations by storm, however conservative attitudes and virginity myths are holding again a breakthrough for the reusable gadgets in Indonesia and throughout Asia.

Jakarta resident Maya Larasati says disposable pads are extra snug than cups or tampons, and does not really feel responsible in regards to the environmental impression of such single use objects.

“Go marketing campaign inexperienced premises to massive companies with heavy footprints, and depart my vagina alone,” says the 32-year-old communications skilled.

However Olivia Cotes-James, founding father of LUUNA naturals, a female-led menstrual care firm in Asia that runs workshops to dispel myths, suggests cups might save billions of plastic pads and tampons from landfill. 

Specialists say considerations round virginity, together with misinformation surrounding tampons and menstrual cups are an even bigger concern for a lot of in Muslim majority Indonesia in addition to different elements of Asia. 

“We nonetheless have the tradition the place you keep a virgin till marriage, so ladies who have not had intercourse do not wish to put something of their vagina,” mentioned Jakarta-based gynaecologist Christo Ekapatria.

Operating menstrual cup schooling campaigns for school-aged ladies is untenable as a result of it might be seen as selling sexual activity, he added.

Even discovering menstrual cups or tampons in Indonesia’s sprawling capital isn’t any simple process. Most supermarkets and comfort shops promote pads solely, those who do promote different objects cost excessive costs for them. 

Learn additionally: Menstrual cups protected, sensible and low-cost: Examine

In a single upmarket shopping center, a 10-pack of pads prices simply 7,500 rupiah ($0.55) however the identical variety of tampons sells for greater than eight occasions that, whereas an imported menstrual cup prices $30.

Nonetheless, a tiny minority of ladies are taking an opportunity on cups in Indonesia, together with Virra Alaydroes who says the gadgets give her extra freedom to do actions like yoga and save her cash in the long term.

“Menstrual cups principally assist to scale back going backwards and forwards to the bathroom (to alter pads),” the 30-year-old Bali resident mentioned.

To cope with the social challenges, some teams in Indonesia are touting reusable pads and interval underwear as an environmentally aware center floor.

The Excellent Match mission, run by charity Kopernik, is instructing Indonesian ladies in rural areas learn how to make and promote re-usable pads, with a watch to finally convincing them to make use of cups. 

Canada’s Diva, one of many largest gamers out there, says it is planning for academic promoting campaigns in Indonesia to alter the narrative.

It mentioned: “The parable that an inside menstrual product has an impression on virginity can restrict ladies within the selections they make to handle their durations,”

“And it additionally encourages them to place their very own consolation and autonomy second.”

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