This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Divyansha Dongre. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Most Potentially Transforming Force On The Planet

More from Divyansha Dongre

By Divyansha Dongre:

In a world that’s already tackling  various issues such as racism, rape culture, gender inequality, I’m here to shed some light a topic that may not be the talk of the town  as the ones stated, but is as equally destructive and annihilative. It’s slowly destroying our society thread by thread, and to my dismay, not many people are addressing this issue. Well, not in the right manner at least.

I love scrolling through my favorite social media platforms early in the morning. Most of the time, they are filled with videos where 3- or 6-year-olds are saying or doing things that we adults only post on Facebook about or retweet about on Twitter. Really inspiring and astonishing things, I must say. From persuading their mother to ditch the divorce and give her marriage a second chance to little girls supporting and encouraging each other. Truly beautiful and heartwarming.

But sadly, when I lock my mobile phone, thinking that nothing can go wrong, because my day has begun on such a jolly note, I’m slapped with the harsh realities of life. One such being – women forgetting  how much we can inspire one another.

And that’s killing me.

Instead of truly supporting each other through thick and thin, understanding one another because no one knows our plights better than we do and lighting candle’s in each another’s lives, most of us are busy doing the complete opposite.

Truth be told, women empowering each other has merely narrowed down to liking and sharing posts on Facebook, ranting about it on Twitter or blogging. So does that make people like me, writing about it a hypocrite? No, of course not. I don’t have a problem with women who raise their voices on social media platforms. But I do have a problem with women who have restricted their ‘women empowering each other’ enthusiasm to their screens only.

Being a woman, I can tell you there is nothing more soul crushing and agonizing than hearing another woman put you down. And at the same time no one can truly explain the zeal, rush of motivation and new found self-love a woman experiences when her best friend or a completely random woman motivates her and speaks high about her. It’s like walking barefoot on the morning grass – relaxing. It’s like sipping on a mug of the most aromatic and flavour-intense coffee that hits you in all the right places – energetic.

When women empower each other, the probability of miracles taking place and witnessing wonders happening right in front of your eyes are pretty darn high.

This phenomena is not that something that needs to be taught. First of all, the lack of this is any society should not exist. The fact that it does, should be an alarming signal. A signal indicating the de-evolution of the human race. Instead of forming connections between women, which is potentially the most transforming force on the planet, some of us are so busy being envious and hateful towards each other that we’re forgetting to identify the dynamic power that lies in our connections.

Ladies, when we make fun of each other or make it a point to put each other down during our discussions or conversations, It creates a wrong impression, especially in front of men, making it okay for them to talk and think the same way about women. And who can blame them? Women know each other the best, right? Isn’t that something that we’ve been taught, been told, witnessed ourselves to some extent?

How do you expect us to win this battle against gender inequality when we ourselves have created this biased and totally ridiculous hierarchy amongst ourselves? We need more of ‘You look beautiful. I love your contour’ rather than ‘She’s not beautiful, she wears way too much makeup’  More of ‘She’s a housewife’ and less of ‘She’s JUST a housewife’. We need to craft a world where all you can hear is ‘You can do it!’ ‘I stand by you’ and ‘Slay girl! Slay!’ and not, ‘She doesn’t deserve this’, ‘She’s meh’, or ‘She got or achieved this because of her boyfriend or husband’.

Like honestly, I’m at a loss of words, and unable to process and portray any emotions when a woman equates another woman’s success to how influential her boyfriend or husband is in the industry, rather than appreciating her own hard work, dedication and talent. And solely because of one stupid, stupid emotion – jealousy. In this world, nothing is easy. Everyone’s pace is different in reaching their goals. Relax! Thank god for everything you have. Never look down on the next person.

To some extent, I blame the society that we live in for this. We are constantly being taught to see other women as a competition rather than people who need you and can make your life better. Take beauty pageants for an example, from “Miss Universe” to reality television shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras”, where little girls as young as 1 compete with other girls for a title that tends to lean more towards the category of ‘Who is the prettiest’. So ridiculous.

We need more TV shows and movies that show two women building each other up, rather than a storyline that revolves around two girls competing and tearing down each other to get a man. We need to tell stories that bring out the dynamic and earth-shattering power that is generated when women encourage, support, uplift and celebrate each other.

Today, I challenge you.

No, this is not some absurd black and white challenge. This one might be a little more difficult and tricky than scrolling through your filters and selecting Moon, Willow or Inkwell on Instagram.

Ladies, I challenge you to ditch your jealousy and crumble your envy like a cookie. I challenge you to see the good in every women that is a part of your life. I challenge you to revive each other. I challenge you to empower each other. I challenge you to champion each other. Support her, even if you don’t support her situation.

Astonishing things can happen when women support each other.

Don’t be the kind of woman who’ll go and copy-paste this on social media. Be the kind of woman who’ll practise what she preaches.

You must be to comment.

More from Divyansha Dongre

Similar Posts

By Martha Farrell Foundation

By Samaira Guleria

By Piyush

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below