A campaign on menstrual health is fighting for the dignity of girls/women in periods

Urmila Chanam
Posted February 17, 2020 from India
This godman whose followers run the institution where girl students had to flash their underwear to prove they are not on periods says ‘If menstruating women cook, they will be born as kutri (bitch)(1/2)

Breaking the Silence Campaign aims to end myths, taboos and stigma around menstruation prevalent across India and many other countries through creating awareness among adolescent girls and boys(too!) in schools and education institutions with special emphasis on districts and rural regions. We are entering the 7th year of our work and we request you for your help.

Please donate to us to enable this mission to penetrate isolate regions and communities often 'left behind' in the planning process for development.

On 15th February 2020, college students living in a hostel in Gujarat in India were made to strip and show their underwear to female teachers to prove they were not on periods. A hostel official had complained to the college principal that some of the students were breaking rules menstruating women are supposed to follow.According to these rules, women are barred from entering the temple and the kitchen and are not allowed to touch other students during their periods.At meal times, they have to sit away from others, they have to clean their own dishes, and in the classroom, they are expected to sit on the last bench.One of the students told that the hostel maintains a register where they are expected to enter their names when they get their periods, which helps the authorities to identify them.The hostel official complained to the principal that menstruating students were entering the kitchen, going near the temple, and mingling with other hostellers.

This is the state of mindsets when it comes to menstruation and women in India and its important to address this social evil through awareness.

More is surfacing from this incident like this godman who believes if menstruating women cook they will be born as a bitch in the next lifetime and those who eat her food will be born as ox! Read more here-

https://ahmedabadmirror.indiatimes.com/ahmedabad/cover-story/if-menstruating-women-cook-they-will-be-born-as-kutri-bitch-in-next-life/articleshow/74182504.cms?fbclid=IwAR0MnNyLTp5EmSD_VeQcrg47wGd1Mmc8dE3yvPniElY5ZG8t6FoIr_T5MEw

In our aim to increase the level of knowledge and understanding of the female body, physiology and menstruation, Breaking the Silence Campaign has always engaged boys and men, fathers and male teachers in all our programs so that a positive change in how 355 million menstruating girls and women in India experience menstruation in their lifetimes can be brought through correct information, understanding and support. We need your help so please please donate to us so we can reach out,engage and nurture more male advocates and champions of menstrual health.

Contact: [email protected]

Comments 20

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maeann
Feb 17, 2020
Feb 17, 2020

I dont understand why that menstruation is a big deal :) It is part of women's :) so sad... I dont have words to say.

But good thing you are there to bring awareness and education Urmila :)

Thank you for making a difference.

Urmila Chanam
Oct 24, 2020
Oct 24, 2020

Dearest sis Maeann,
Please accept my apologies for delay in responding. Menstruation stigma is not a standalone social phenomenon but comes from a culture of gender inequality and miniscule worthiness given to a girl's life right from her birth through the lifecycle. That is why, the approach to address this social evil has to involve efforts to address inequality between girls and boys, men and women. I am trying my best sister but the fight is much bigger beyond one person. Thanks for reading sister and asking the right and tough questions.

Much love,
Urmila Chanam.

Anita Shrestha
Feb 17, 2020
Feb 17, 2020

Dear Sis
It is great things to do in Nepal and India. You are raising great awarness.
"Breaking the Silence Campaign aims to end myths, taboos and stigma around menstruation prevalent across India and many other countries through creating awareness among adolescent girls and boys(too!) in schools and education institutions with special emphasis on districts and rural regions. We are entering the 7th year of our work and we request you for your help."

Urmila Chanam
Oct 24, 2020
Oct 24, 2020

Dearest Anita,
How are you doing? I know we are living history with the pandemic raging in every part of the globe. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones, let us be safe and then, we have so much to do.
Much love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam

Beth Lacey
Feb 18, 2020
Feb 18, 2020

Urmila, your work is so important. I hope you get all the support you need.

Urmila Chanam
Oct 24, 2020
Oct 24, 2020

Dearest sister Beth,
I have deep gratitude for you for encouraging me, cheering me and coming to my help. I wish women can experience this kind of bonding, trust and support for each other, too.
Love and hugs from India,
Urmila Chanam

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Feb 18, 2020
Feb 18, 2020

Hello, sister Urmila,

Oh, wow. It's already 2020, sadly this kind of thinking is still alive. We stand with you, sister. I hope you get more than enough donations you need to raise awareness on menstrual health. It's a lot of work. I hope you have a strong support system in organizing campaigns. Thank you for sharing! All the best to you, dear!

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Dearest Karen,
Thanks a lot for the warm wishes and prayers.
Much love,
Urmila Chanam

laison sylvie
Feb 18, 2020
Feb 18, 2020

Proper menstrual hygiene management is very vital, especially to young girls. Thank you for the work you are doing to break the taboos and stigmatization.

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Dearest Laison Sylvie,
Girls and women form nearly half the population of the world yet, they are the most ignored community in every country. It is time we are not considered 'second class citizens' and all our needs and entitlements are national and international priority of governments and authorities. Thank you sister, for reaching out. Do stay in touch also.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam

Metiege Noel Eve
Feb 19, 2020
Feb 19, 2020

Congratulations sis for such initiative. It is great to have included men and boys in your campaign for they need to know that menstruation is a natural thing in normal and healthy women and get to support them during this period rather han try to stigmatize

them

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Dearest sister Metiege Noel Eve,
Thanks for your encouragement. I believe to create equality, we need the support of all individuals irrespective of their gender and educating boys and men has been extremely effective because they extend support, material, infrastructure like toilets, water, soap and sanitary pads and advocate for end of menstruation stigma. This will serve to expedite the process and we have to acknowledge the patriarchy that is the root cause of gender inequality is often hosted by women. So engaging boys and men is a win win situation for everyone.
Love and regards,
Urmila Chanam

JANEKALU
Feb 20, 2020
Feb 20, 2020

Dear Urmila.you are doing a wonderful job i pray all your target will be achieve.

Jane Kalu

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Thanks so much for having faith in me sister xoxo

Sharon Makunura
Feb 21, 2020
Feb 21, 2020

So sad to be discriminated against in this way.

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Dearest Sharon,
Women in India and all over the world are 'fighting back'. We are organising ourselves better, approaching the problem at its root cause and I am confident, we will achieve a world which does not discriminate women and girls during menstruation and at all other times.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam

lizzymark
Feb 22, 2020
Feb 22, 2020

In so many developing nations mensuration is such a big deal in some places women are not even allowed to go to places of worship. The woman has the right to anything and everything during this period as at any other time. Thank you sis for raising your voice.

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Dearest sister Lizzymark,
You have summarised it beautifully sister. I am appalled how even educated, working professional woman agree to rules and norms in their houses during menstruation and they have even found a way to make peace with such discrimination. Women say atleast they get to rest during those days if they are barred from kitchen and temple, they don't have to cook or worship.

Love,
Urmila Chanam

Regina Afanwi Young
Apr 30, 2020
Apr 30, 2020

Thanks so much for the good job Urmila . its so sad these girls have to GI through this stigma. Am glad you are doing your best to change this mind set. Am very positive thus campaign will heal great fruits

Urmila Chanam
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

Dearest Regina,
This year I conducted a national quiz on menstrual hygiene management to raise awareness on menstruation as a natural, beautiful, life giving, natural phenomenon and you will be surprised to know that 60% were women/girls and 40% were boys and men which is a very unbelievebale ration as men rather not be involved. These are the fruits we aim to harvest sister.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam