The UK might just become the first country to make menstrual health a compulsory subject in school. The decision came about a time when the majority of the people are unaware of the related concerns. After consultation with the health department, the government has decided to pass the law making it obligatory for schools to teach menstrual health.
How this initiative started in the first place is a long story. Basically, a 23-year-old female by the name of Alice Smith was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 14. Since then, she has been campaigning all over the UK for better access to menstrual health. For Alice, her efforts have finally bored their fruit and she could not be much happier about this decision.
The UK government has issued some guidelines on how the law will actually be implemented. In the first case scenario, it wants to teach girls about the basic biology behind periods and the ovulation cycle in general. That is important to know as to ensure all the necessary precautionary measures to be taken afterwards are adequate. One other thing the government wants to achieve out of this program is to make the students aware of what is wrong and what is right when it comes to menstrual health.
Apart from the basic menstruation knowledge, schools would also be obliged to focus on sex education. More importantly, focusing on the idea of consent.
According to the UK Health officials, menstrual health should always be backed by knowledge about sex education. Both complement each other. It is also pertinent to note that in most schools, students have no literal idea of what constitutes consensual sex. In a wider scheme of things, children are unaware of situations like sexual/domestic abuse etc.
Why is teaching menstrual health a positive step?
There should be no second thought to whether this step actually is beneficial for the future generation. For certainly, teaching menstrual health in schools will yield a number of benefits.
Firstly, it is important to understand there is general unawareness among the population about menstruation. Although holding true for most conservative societies, the topic of period is still considered a taboo in the UK as well. Parents would shy away from having a meaningful discussion with their children.
In a wider scheme of things, that leads to the development of misconceptions which are never really catered. For example, when should the girl expect her period? What measures should she take afterwards? Are there any hygiene factors to account for? Questions like these are never dealt in the way they should be.
Teaching menstrual health is a step in the right positive direction. The new guidelines issued by the government will ensure that the school environment remains as inclusive as possible. Even to the extent where authorities are considering to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ students.
On the other hand, it would possibly seem that menstrual health would be geared towards female students. That is truly not the case. The school administration wants to impart an equal amount of knowledge among the boys as well. The issue is an all-encompassing one and should not just be limited to one gender.