Breaking the Taboo: What Women Should Know About Their Bodies
As much as we talk about women empowerment and equality, there are still cultural and social taboos surrounding women’s bodies. These taboos tend to manifest in various ways, such as sexual harassment, gender-based violence and even lack of access to basic health care. In this article, we discuss some important things women should know about their bodies in order to be empowered, healthy and to break taboos.
Menstruation is a natural process that every woman goes through, yet it is often stigmatized and hidden. Many women are taught to be ashamed of their periods and to not discuss them openly. This can lead to poor knowledge on how periods work, poor menstrual hygiene and an overall poor experience of periods. It is important for women to know what a healthy period is, how often it should occur, how long it should last, how much bleeding is normal and what common menstrual disorders are.
Reproductive health is a critical part of a woman’s health. Women should be aware of their bodies, the menstrual cycle and its changes, birth control options, maternal health, sexually transmitted infections and treatment options. Knowing one’s reproductive health status helps in making informed decisions on matters related to fertility, contraception, and maternal health.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and early detection is key to ensuring better rates of survival. Women should know how to perform breast self-exams, have regular mammograms and how to identify the warning signs of breast cancer.
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are prevalent, yet often stigmatized, particularly in some cultures. STIs can have serious health consequences if not treated properly, and women need to be empowered to protect themselves. Women should, therefore, understand how STIs are transmitted, how to prevent them and how to practice safer sex.
Mental health is often overlooked, yet it is crucial to a woman’s overall well-being. Women face unique stressors such as balancing work and family, societal expectations and expectations to conform to certain beauty standards. It is important for women to seek the help they need, such as mental health interventions or therapy, when they experience stress or anxiety.
In conclusion, breaking the taboo around women’s bodies is essential in enabling women to make informed decisions regarding their health. Women should have access to the right information, care and support in order to make informed health choices. By equipping women with knowledge, we will not only break down taboos, but also improve their overall quality of life.