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How the outcome of a patriarchal society has made men equally vulnerable?

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The patriarchal mind set is always eager more than ever to declare men as the offender, the wrong doer and the accused even before and without offering them the courtesy of an explanation.

The ‘Master Slave’ society which is sublimely called as Patriarchy has historically manifested itself in the social, economic, legal and political organisations of many culture. Both the present and the past is a reminder that most cultures throughout the world have been patriarchal and this inevitable realism has quite often lead patriarchy to portray men as the perpetrator and women as the victim beside flaunting and stereotyping men as a symbol of transcendent strength and protector and women as an undisputed emblem of weakness and fragility.

Patriarchy has blatantly assumed that men can’t be tormented and violence against men is a joke to crack upon. On 12th April, 2017, when The Times of India reported an incident where a newly married wife allegedly killed her hubby for not being handsome; an insane majority reacted with a Haha emoticon. Even if one willingly accepts that the news reported was just on the basis of prima facie evidence; the reactions only proved that violence against men is nothing except something to be ridiculed at.

The patriarchal mind set is always eager more than ever to declare men as the offender, the wrong doer and the accused even before and without offering them the courtesy of an explanation.  The allegations made by women are always heard and believed as the eventual doctrine because it brings humongous TRP and revenue like in the late November 2014; media mob reported how two sisters beat three young boys in Rohtak for ‘allegedly’ harassing them.  The incident was reported even without cross checking the facts at the first place just because the accusations were labelled against men by women.  Kuldeep, the main accused was denied the admit card and wasn’t allowed to join the army for a crime he wasn’t yet held guilty. The three young boys’ must have undergone unexplainable trauma besides carrying the guilt of bad name for three years before they were acquitted and judged innocent by the court on 4th March, 2017.  The same media when the same men were set acquitted didn’t bother to report the incident aggressively because violence and false accusation against men is commonly so uncommon to fathom.


To counter the venom patriarchy spreads against women and to maintain an equilibrium; patriarchy has given birth to extremely sexist laws like the Section 498 A; which was hailed as a legal terrorism even by the Supreme Court of India in Sushil Kumar Sharma vs. Union of India case.   The false acquisition in a very famous dowry case where charges were labelled against ‘Munish Dalal’ and his family in Noida in 2003 is a reminder of the nightmare sexist law creates for men.  After 9 years of perpetual torture ‘Munish’ and his family including her 60 years old aunt and mother were set free. This particular case just can’t be discarded as a counting of one in a set of infinite elements because the facts also don’t prove otherwise. With a mind boggling, 23 lakh people arrested under this section of law only less than petty crimes like theft; the conviction rate has amazingly been a bare minimum 15 %.

The plethora of the ever sexist sections of the law has sometimes made men a puppet. A detailed report published by The Hindu on June 29, 2014 titled as the Many Shades of Rape Cases in Delhi showed that over 40 % of the rape cases in 2013 in the national capital dealt with the incident of consensual sex, usually involving the elopement of the young couple and later the girl’s family accused the boy of rape and the other 25% cases dealt with the breach of the promise of marriage. These facts shouldn’t be read as an unsaid judgement to kindle controversy that most rape cases are false or as a disgrace to women rights but should be accepted as a grey façade of the society apart from all the black and white shades. Violence is violence after all and injustice is injustice always; no matter against whom it is executed. If committing a rape is a heinous and an odious crime then falsely accusing someone and ruining years’ of their life for the crime they haven’t ever committed is also equally heinous if not more.


Ages ago; when patriarchy stereotyped men and women, the women were always the sub-ordinate. Though man borne and bear many privileges even till today; the narrative that men are also at the receiving end of ordeal is an unassailable reality. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data exemplifies it well.  It states that the suicide rate of married men is twice than that of married women and that too mainly because of mental stress and disturbance. Patriarchy has sublimely portrayed men as an epitome of masculinity without emotions. In fact, it shows no concern for genuine men like it never does for women and has promoted misogyny and misandry in equal terms. As a chunk of crime and acts of violence against women are supported and conceived by women themselves; patriarchy disapproves itself. It has in fact no gender.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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