As you may have noticed earlier on in the month we had a post up announcing our participation in Menstrual Hygiene. Unfortunately we were unable to secure a venue for our event so we’ve decided to share some our our planned events here in the hopes that you can get a glimpse of all that MH Day encompasses.
First up is our Menstrual Art Selection: from the ‘’Widening the Cycle’’ Menstrual Art exhibit, that brings a new perspective on periods – one that is no longer rooted in silence or shame, but one that can show the versatility, complexity and the beauty of menstruation.
Followed by a screening of The Monthlies which is a coming of age story. The film focuses on girls that are about to enter a new period of their lives (did you catch the pun?). Along with them the young (or not so young) spectator explores the colorful world hidden behind everyday reality. What starts as innocent curiosity turns into a witty and emotional trip of exploring the female body and new range of emotions.
If that is a bit too whimsical for you switch over to the TED Talk by Arunachalam Muruganantham. Muruganantham is the man who started the sanitary napkin revolution in rural India by creating simple machines to make cheap modern sanitary napkins. The impetus for this was his realisation that his wife had to choose between buying family meals and buying her menstrual pads.
Finally there was to be a crafting corner, but that doesn’t translate as well to screen so here are 2 step by step guides for you to try yourself: reusable sanitary towel making PDF guide and Wiki-How guide to Making your own pad.
Disposable sanitary pads can be very expensive in relation to the local economy in developing countries and often there can be difficulties in regards to safe disposal (as well as environmental issues). Lack of sanitary towels has been shown to keep girls out of school and women from working. Which can add up to 50 days plus of school or work each year! It’s not all bad news though, a Ghanian study found that girls’ attendance increased substantially after receiving free sanitary pads and puberty education, showing how important education in menstrual hygiene is. These re-usable sanitary towels can be made from easily available materials, protects from leaking, and are affordable for all.
One organisation doing brilliant work in this area is AfriPads which is a social business in Uganda that manufactures and sells cost-effective cloth sanitary pads. It would be remiss of us to not give Moon Times a shout out, who were wonderful enough to send some samples for our material display and answer all our questions. They have two charity projects themselves, one based in Zimbabwe and the other in Rwanda. If you have a bit of cash going spare and with a sororal spirit in mind you might consider donating.
While this is by no means all we wanted to cover, discussion groups etc all require a feedback that blog posting does not allow for. But, if you still want to get involved (of course you do!) help break the silence and lend your voice to the global movement by using #MenstruationMatters on social media. You could print out one of the two #MenstruationMatters cards here or here (or make your own), add your message, take a pic and post it. As well you can find a treasure chest of MH Day paraphernalia online at www.menstrualhygieneday.org.
Lastly, keep you fingers crossed for an Irish event next year!