The Menstrual Health Tweet Sheet

Demand answers around sexual and reproductive health and rights from your decision makers.

 

While asking questions is important, asking the right questions is critical for addressing sexual and reproductive health and rights. Join the movement and ask decision makers how India is going to address existing stigma around menstrual health, access to information and infrastructure, waste management, and more.

Key Stakeholders

Decision makers who play a central role in creating better access to menstrual health in India.

 

"There should be a toilet in all the schools of our country. A separate toilet for girls...it is only then our girls will not have to quit schools."

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

 

"Decisions like sanitary pad in Re 1 show commitment by our government to the protection of woman power and securing the future children of the country."

Smriti Irani, Union Minister for Women & Child Development

 

"Access to safe menstrual hygiene practice is an important component of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) under the National Health Mission for health and wellbeing of adolescents."

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare

Tweet To Change The Narrative Around Menstrual Health

 

A report by @dasra states that nearly 23 million girls drop out of school annually due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities in India. Let’s demand government action to turn the narrative! Write your #Periodपाठ yka.io/PeriodPaath

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Women make up 10% of India’s homeless population. Those who menstruate face major challenges during their periods, due to lack of access to products, toilets, safety and security. How is the #RKSK tackling challenges faced by them @narendramodi @MoHFW_INDIA? #Periodपाठ

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Only 55% of adolescent girls in India consider menstruation to be a ‘normal’ phenomenon, according to a 2018 @BMJIndia study. Change this narrative! Join the conversation on #Periodपाठ: yka.io/PeriodPaath

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According to NFHS-4 in 2015-16, 57% women aged 15-24 years use hygienic methods during menstruation. How do we reach the rest 43%? Write your #Periodपाठ: yka.io/PeriodPaath

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In 2019, the govt. allocated ₹64.61 cr for distribution of low cost sanitary napkins. A good start, but how do we plan to deal with the additional sanitary waste produced @narendramodi? #Periodपाठ

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There’s a culture of silence surrounding periods, with just 48% girls knowing about menstruation before their first period. How are we building capacity among healthcare, education providers to change this @MoHFW_INDIA @HRDMinistry? #Periodपाठ

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India creates staggering 113,000 tonnes of menstrual waste annually that can take over 250 years to fully decompose. How can we popularise more eco-friendly alternatives @swachhbharat @narendramodi? #Periodपाठ

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There are eco-friendly alternatives to commercial sanitary pads available today that haven't been popularised through govt. schemes. Where's the gap @narendramodi @swachhbharat? #Periodपाठ

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What steps can young people take to #BreakTheSilence around menstrual health? Write your #Periodपाठ: yka.io/PeriodPaath

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Tamil Nadu recognised menstrual hygiene as a sanitation issue and began equipping schools with relevant infrastructure in 2004. Yet 79% of women and girls remain unaware of menstruation in the state. Where’s the gap? #Periodपाठ

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Bihar is the only Indian state providing two days menstrual leave every month to female employees, since 1992. When will other states follow suit @narendramodi? #Periodपाठ

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Women in Maharashtra’s Beed district undergo hysterectomies, as ‘periods hinder their work’ and contractors don’t hire them otherwise. How are we putting an end to such blatant discrimination @narendramodi? #Periodपाठ

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Women working in Assam’s tea plantations lose two days’ pay monthly during their periods, unaffordable since they’re not covered under the Minimum Wages Act. What steps are we taking to protect their rights @LabourMinistry @MoHFW_INDIA? #Periodपाठ

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In areas with water shortage, women travel long distances to collect water, without respite even when they’re ill or menstruating. As major Indian cities too, run out of ground water, how are we protecting these women’s interests @MinistryWCD? #Periodपाठ

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Several Indian households continue to deny domestic workers access to toilets, forcing them to go long hours without regular, hygienic change of pads during their periods. How can we address this? Write your #Periodपाठ: yka.io/PeriodPaath

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It’s not just women who menstruate. We need to move ‘women-friendly toilets’ to ‘menstruating people friendly toilets’. How are we changing the narrative @swachhbharat @narendramodi? #Periodपाठ

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Involving men and boys in the conversation around periods is necessary for better policies around menstruation. Agree? How can we achieve this? Write your #Periodपाठ: yka.io/PeriodPaath

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Despite awareness drives, stigma around menstruation is rampant in India, with just 55% of girls considering menstruation as ‘normal’. How is the Menstrual Hygiene Programme tackling this @MoHFW_India? #Periodपाठ

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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.

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.

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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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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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