Venue: Delhi, Gurgaon, Sonepat, Panipat, Jhapla, Deoghar,Siliguri,Raipur, Sehore, Bhubaneswar, Ajmer, Maharashtra, Hyderabad,Jaipur
This World Menstrual Hygiene Day, Martha Farrell Foundation and its partners worked towards breaking menstrual taboos and increasing awareness on menstrual hygiene by starting a conversation on various locations.
Tools such as role play, participatory training, quiz, discussions, movies and even social media was used to engage different stakeholders in an inclusive conversation. The sessions acted as a platform to help adolescent youth understand their bodies better. Usually perceived as uncomfortable conversations, adults don’t talk to adolescent about the changes their bodies go through. This leads to a spreading of misinformation and even menstrual taboos. But by engaging them in conversations the youth were empowered and encouraged to question menstrual taboos and archaic practises that they are asked to follow.
In Jaipur young girls questioned why something as natural as menstruation becomes a barrier to their freedom. In Sonepat, the youth asked questions on why and how menstruation happens. Boys even asked how they could help their female friends and relatives when they are menstruating. In Panipat, the youth took it upon themselves to celebrate the day and dispel any shame associated with menstruation by distributing sweet water to passer-bys. In Sehore, girls decided to prepare an impromptu play to depict the ordeals they face during menstruation. In Deoghar up till now only silence surrounded the issue of menstruation,but our partners broke the silence by organising a discussion on menstruation.
The youth engaged and mobilised in all locations will continue to work towards normalising menstruation, even beyond this one day. They have learnt that only talking about it can dispel the sense of shame and ignorance associated with it. Talk and talk without any shame.