My name is Sonakhi. I am a Young Woman’s Advocacy Champion taking part in the Action on Body Confidence programme. This week as part of Menstrual Hygiene Week, I am sharing my story about the reboot campaign.
About my project
Reboot of thoughts on menstruation is a wave of change project I started on 15th July 2018 to spread awareness about menstrual education and to break the silence on periods. For years, we have been caged in taboos related to menstruation. It is time for us to break out of this cage and feel free! Often we spend time worrying about what our bodies look like, without appreciating all of the wonderful things our bodies allow us to do.
My mother had educated me about periods long before I had my first. At the time, I was taking an exam. I panicked and was quiet hesitant to tell anyone what was happening… I was crying and everyone around me was starting to wonder what had happened. Whilst on my period I had to sleep away, have food away, and not touch anything holy. I could go to school but I had to be very careful.
I kept on wondering, how can I make all of this better...
Building my knowledge
In 2018 had the opportunity to attend the Bharat National Youth Forum. There, I learnt about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal’s and how to utilise the platform of scouting to bring about change.
Attending the Youth Forum built my feeling that it is time to stop whispering when it’s time to buy sanitary products. It is time to understand a menstruating girl is as beautiful as a pregnant lady. It is time to embrace and adore the beginning of life, which begins with this process of menstruation.
The work being done to promote period positivity among males and females of different ages groups is so overwhelming, but of course we have a long way to go.
Creating a period friendly environment in my community
As menstruation isn't a common topic of discussion and is considered to be a taboo in our society, there is a need to normalise talking about periods within our community. Doing this helps us to break the silence on menstruation and highlights that menstruation should be considered as a normal process.
During my project I joined other Girl Scouts to provide information about periods to my community, provide emotional support during periods and to teach about menstrual hygiene products.
100 Break the Silence Challenge
We marked the 1st year of our reboot campaign by collecting reboot impact stories and wishes from around the world.
#Breakingthesilence is an ongoing social media challenge, which invites young women and men from all over India to share a short video on period positivity. In the first year of the project, my groups initial target was to carry out 100 interviews as our break the silence challenge, tackling the belief that women and girls shouldn’t talk about menstruation. We met this target and have seen a great reaction on our social channels.
More about Action on Body Confidence
Action on Body Confidence is a 5-session programme by WAGGGS and Dove. It has been created to support young people to plan and run your own advocacy project to make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people.
Project Social media handles
Facebook page:- Reboot of Thoughts on Menstruation
Words by Sonakhi, Young Women's Advocacy Champion, India
About the author
Sonakhi, India, is a local Young Women’s Advocacy Champion taking part in the Action on Body Confidence programme partnership by Dove and WAGGGS.