During Ramadan, Muslim women do not want to be ashamed of their periods.

 During Ramadan, Muslim women do not want to be ashamed of their periods.


Some Muslim women have gone to social media to express their dissatisfaction with cultural norms that prevent menstruation girls and women from participating in the month-long fast.

Getting your period during Ramadan makes you feel as though you're missing out as if you can't just skip one period a year.

— Zeynab (@Riham Alazazy) 27th of May, 2018

Those who follow the holy month of Ramadan, the most important month of the Islamic faith, fast every day from sunrise to sunset. Although fasting is an important part of Ramadan, children, pregnant or nursing women, and women and girls who are menstruating are not obligated to fast.

Women and girls are not required to fast or pray during their periods because they are regarded ritualistically "impure" during this time — yet they are not simply exempted. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Faraz M. Sheikh, assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the College of William & Mary, explained that they are expected to make up the lost days of fasting as soon as their periods are done and they are ritually washed.

However, many girls and women have expressed their dissatisfaction with being excluded from Ramadan activities on Twitter in recent weeks.

Some women said they feel "dirty" and ashamed of a completely natural bodily function during the holy month because of the stigma surrounding periods.

I'm sick and tired of being made to feel unclean and dirty just because I'm on my period during Ramadan and obviously not fasting. Put a stop to it! Periods were created by Allah as well, so quit abusing them. 

This isn't even a controversial viewpoint. — Nashmia (@luminous x) 30 May 2018

They wouldn't prohibit eating in public during Ramadan if it were men getting their periods, I swear.

May 28, 2018 — fatma1uae (@fatma1uae)

I used to go to the mosque and pretend I wasn't on my period, but you can't touch the book, so I'd tie a corner of my scarf over my finger, but I still felt like I was breaking the rules. One of the things that turned me away from religion was when I was stuck between a rock and a hard place — build a wall and line all the nazis up along it (@SamAmbreenSalah). 30 May 2018

Others have pointed out that the stigma associated with menstruation puts women in a particularly difficult situation during Ramadan because they cannot participate in the prayers and fasting, nor can they eat in public without being shamed for not fasting.

Many women already do this; it's just that we've been taught into believing we should be ashamed of it and must hide it.

— @chubbythicc (@sabitch) 30 May 2018

When I'm on my period during Ramadan, I literally have to go into my room and lock the door to eat because my mother is so stringent about my father or brothers knowing, which I find ridiculous because it's not something I should have to hide — 38 DAYS IN ASPEN (@reallymarvel) 30 May 2018

Any man who is uncomfortable with his knowledge has to mature — 30 May 2018 Daniel H. Raza (@dhraza)

Many have spoken out in support of women and girls, pointing out that menstruation is a completely natural part of life, as women's tweets about period shame during Ramadan attracted online attention.

During Ramadan, women should not be ashamed of their periods; they are natural, and every woman should believe that.

— 30 May 2018 Yaseen Ali (@ali onlyme)

While the concept that women are "impure" during their periods is a cultural rather than a religious one, various religious societies have comparable taboos around menstruation. Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist faiths all have opinions toward menstruation girls and women.

Many women and girls around the world are prevented from fully participating in ordinary life during their periods due to these beliefs. Girls and women are isolated and confined to a hut during their periods in places like Nepal as part of a traditional practice known as "chaupadi."

Many girls miss school while menstruating due to the social stigma associated with periods and a lack of safe and inexpensive menstrual hygiene management services. According to UNESCO, one out of every ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during her period, which can amount to as much as 20% of a school year.

However, it is past time to put a stop to these dehumanizing attitudes toward normal, human activity. Global Citizen fights for gender equality and the abolition of all types of discrimination. You can take action here to inform world leaders that #ItsBloodyTime so that girls can continue to acquire an education regardless of their period.

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