HAVANA TIMES – For as long as I can remember, Cuban women have struggled to get the right underwear, to be ready and comfortable every 28 or so days.
Awful-quality sanitary towels and tampons to contain the bleeding of most women, who also don’t know about the progressive menstrual cup.
We’ve been behind the times for years when it comes to women’s garments, from using a bra made out of any cut-off, to ripped panties without elastic, to living the nightmare of having to wear their children’s daipers during their period.
Not to mention the precarious situation many Cubans are in without water on demand and those who have the privilege, receive poor-quality water.
Very few women on the island can practice proper hygiene, shortages of personal hygiene items and the sky-high prices of those that do appear, make women’s lives a little less happy.
I have seen Havana clotheslines with brown-stained cloths hanging again, just like in the ‘90s, when anything was used to put in your intimate area.
Once again, we are suffering the beating of a hurt economy, where we have to turn to gutting disposable diapers and biting hard on pillows to bear pelvic pain, without a painkiller to mitigate the pains of this process. Wherever we look, there’s a bucket of murky water that needs to be boiled and saved to get us through the day. What could be a routine and resolvable thing for any other woman, has become an anxiety/stress/fear- riddled thing for Cuban women, who wonder whether we’ll ever have the right to a dignified period.