idamn (e-dam-n)

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on August 14, 2010

idamn, pronounced e-dam-n, means blood. Or bleeding. As in a woman’s menstruation cycle. Her period.

The women in my community know I have mine. Oddly enough, now so does whoever reads my blog. TMI? Perhaps.

But, this is also to make a point.

Women’s health is important. Women’s health during Ramadan is important. Women should not feel guilty about not fasting during Ramadan because they are menstruating. Social pressure is ridiculous. According to the Koran, women don’t need to fast during Ramadan if they are on their period.

For a brief nano-second, I considered fasting through my period.

Then I realized something: if I do that, I’d be conforming to social (albeit self-imposed) pressure. I’d be perpetuating this pressure. So, instead, I took a different approach.

I didn’t openly disclose my period but I wasn’t discreet about it either. Rather, if a woman asked whether I fast, I’d tell her the truth: “I fasted the past two days but not today. I have my period.” Then I’d confer with her, just to double check that it’s not a problem.

In the span of 5 minutes, I “shared” this “information” with about 10 women in passing as I made my way to the Shiybi house to break fast with them.

One of the perks of not fasting when everyone else is: I get to be the taste-tester! I got to sample fresh-blended smoothie 2-3 hours before anyone else had a drop of it.

As long as I can build the language skills, I think I’m really going to like this assignment of mine. Educating rural women on their health. As a PCV, I carry a foreigner card that allows me to do things differently; my residence in the community for two years grants me access into households (inshallah).

These women are smart and they want to learn. Young and old. Here’s my chance to give them that opportunity. Bring it on. 🙂


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