Kota’s partner organization NFCC International along with the Bushtember Foundation launched their #LetsFaceItPeriod campaign on September 1st with an event at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City. It’s all about menstrual hygiene, the availability of hygienic practices, and better ways to manage it for women around the world.
Investing in women’s health, particularly in sexual and reproductive health, is critical for saving lives and reducing ill-health among women and their children; fulfilling their internationally recognized right to good health; and eventually increasing women’s education and their contribution to the economy. The lack of hygiene facilities and pads/tampons, painkillers and other supplies contributes to an extraordinary number of missed days of work and school, and in many countries causes girls to drop out of school entirely. Part of the reason is the reluctance of both men and women to bring up the topic in any context.
The campaign aims to start the dialogue on menstrual hygiene management around the world and to break taboos and stigmas that continue to exist in developed as well as developing countries. It also aims at raising funds to support women’s health and empowering NGOs around the world that dedicate their work to Menstrual Hygiene Management Programmes.
The festive launch event featured delicious food by ARK Catering, and was accompanied by an impressive group of speakers including Canadian author and artist and Rupi Kaur, whose March 2015 Instagram photo of a fully clothed woman lying in bed with a period stain was deleted twice by Instagram. Her Facebook response to the photo being ‘censored by Instagram’ made headlines around the world, and she then received an apology from Instagram as the photo was restored. Her photography series around menstruation was created to “demystify the period and make something that is innate ‘normal’ again.”
Other speakers were Tanzanian fashion model Millen Magese and supermodel Mari Malek, founder of Stand4Education. There was also a video message from Kiran Gandhi who recently ran the London Marathon without a tampon while having her period. She did so to raise awareness about women around the world who have no access to feminine products and to encourage women to not be ashamed of their periods – key attributes of the #LetsFaceItPeriod campaign.
The 5 beneficiary organizations that the funding will support are:
Kota wishes NFCC and the Bushtember Foundation success with their September campaign!