New Delhi: “These are uncertain times we are living through. We’ve all had to make changes in our lives. While so much has happened so fast, one aspect of a girls’ life has not changed – she still gets her period every month, with even more challenges due to the lockdown and restrictions. This can be a lonely time for her as menstruation is rarely discussed openly. Most girls have their first period with little knowledge of what is happening. Periods don’t stop for pandemics. And neither should our support for young girls because #MenstruationMatters, always,” with this thought the United Nations Children’s Fund started an initiative called Red Dot Challenge against the period shamming few days before the world celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28).
What Is The Red Dot Challenge?
The challenge encourages women to post a black and white picture showing off the red dot on the hand, as a sign that girls should not shy away from talking about menstruation issues or periods. The challenge aims to motivate women to open up and share their stories as ‘no girl should go through this experience alone.’
Celebrities Who Took The Challenge To Spread Awareness About Menstruation And Menstrual Hygiene
Actor, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador and UN Secretary Generals SDGs Advocate, Dia Mirza has always been vocal about sustainable living. She took to her social media and talked about how there must be more awareness about sanitary napkins that are made of plastic and are harmful to the environment. She said,
Not only do we need to put a period on shaming the period, but we must also ensure we switch to using sustainable products that protect our health and the health of the environment. I use biodegradable sanitary napkins. Many have started using menstrual cups and re-usable/washable cloth napkins. These products need to be made easily accessible and cost-effective so many more women can benefit from personal hygiene that secures their health and protects our planet. #DYK regular sanitary napkins are made mostly of plastic? This plastic lasts in the environment for hundreds of years. Most often sanitary napkins are incinerated and are a source of toxic waste. Spread the word and be the change
Actor Diana Penty also showed her support to the cause of period shaming and said,
It’s about time we put a ‘period’ to period shaming. Cos there’s no shame in it.
Actor Aditi Rao Hydari also joined the #RedDotChallenge and said, “Put a period to shaming the period.”
Actress Kubbra Sait, known for her roles in Sultan, Sacred Games and Gully Boy also shared her thoughts on period shaming and said,
Literally two months have gone by, I’ve sat here and waited for the one thing that is constant in the world of absurdity around us. My periods..This lockdown has given me the time to take it easy on my body… rest well… stay hydrated and love myself. I hope you’ll do the same now.
Be well. Be healthy. Be proud of your cycle and listen to your body.
Former Miss World Manushi Chhillar also joined the challenge and took to Instagram once again, to raise awareness about the cause closer to heart – menstrual hygiene. She said,
Every young girl has the right to accurate information about her body. Without the right information, girls often don’t know how to safely manage their period. It’s time to break the silence. I am calling all girls, boys, women and men to take the #RedDotChallenge with me. Because Menstruation Matters.
Others who have taken the #RedDotChallenge and helped spread awareness about period silence in the country are:
All About Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is globally marked on May 28 with an aim to bring together non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to catalyze advocacy and action towards a world where women and girls are no longer limited because of their periods. The day was first initiated by the German non-profit WASH United in 2013.
This year, the theme for the day is ‘Periods in Pandemics’ which focuses upon raising awareness about taking care of menstrual hygiene during a time like coronavirus that affects a woman both physically and mentally.