~Actress Disha Parmar unveiled the teaching-learning modules that offer comprehensive resources and strategies on period and puberty education for learners, educators, menstruators, and community leaders~
Mumbai June 30th, 2023: 1 out of 5 girls in India drop out of school due to lack of period education and products. Mothers are a girl’s first teacher, but reports say 7 out of 10 mothers do not fully understand the science of periods and find it ‘dirty or impure’. Whisper, over the last 30 years, have been driving menstrual education, distributing free pads, and debunking period related myths and taboos. They have educated and given pads to more than 10 crore girls and mothers in India.
To address menstrual education and hygiene management further, P&G Whisper and UNESCO India joined forces to raise awareness, particularly among women, including young girls attending school. An event was organized at Chetana Institute of Management & Research introducing five teaching-learning modules developed by UNESCO India with Whisper, these modules are tools to drive menstrual health and hygiene management for educators, young adults, persons with disability, with focus on gender, and nutrition.
Titled "Spotlight Red" under the initiative #KeepGirlsInSchool, the teaching-learning modules offer comprehensive resources and strategies for learners, educators, and community leaders. Their purpose is to enhance understanding and skills related to menstruation management while fostering awareness about its societal impact. The modules aim to empower adolescents from diverse backgrounds, including girls with disabilities, by providing them with access to period and puberty education. Moreover, they seek to create a supportive environment through interventions at the school, state, and national levels, enabling these adolescents to continue their education.
P&G Whisper and UNESCO India also launched a National Survey and Gap Analysis report on Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management under the #KeepGirlsinSchool campaign. The report revealed that in poor urban areas, 50% of adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) lack access to hygienic methods for managing their periods.
Distinguished guests attending the launch included Chief Guest, Dr. Sujata Bhan, Head of Department of Special Education, SNDT Women’s University (SNDTWU), Mumbai, Guest of Honour Ms. Disha Parmar, renowned Indian actress known for television soap Bade Acche Lagte Hain 2, Dr. Huma Masood, Senior Gender Specialist at UNESCO India and Ms. Kruti Desai, Communication Head, Whisper P & G.
Actress Disha Parmar, lending her support to the Whisper's Keep Girls in School campaign, highlighted a concerning reality, stating, “I am proud to have partnered with Whisper and UNESCO to support their Keep Girls in School movement with a new initiative Spotlight Red. I am so glad we are finally speaking about periods openly without any embarrassment and shame. Fairly so, because Periods koi bimari nahi... sharminda hone ki cheez nahi…Periods toh ek strong, healthy woman banne ki nishani hai. As I embark on a journey of motherhood, like every mother, I would want my child to grow up in an environment where menstruation is not a taboo. I am sure that in coming years, menstrual health and hygiene will be given the importance that it deserves.”
Dr. Huma Masood, Gender Specialist at UNESCO New Delhi Multisectoral Regional Office, stated, “Spotlight Red – A UNESCO and P&G Whisper initiative, #KeepGirlsinSchool, is a comprehensive approach to address the urgent need for menstrual health and hygiene management in schools. With 23 million girls dropping out annually due to lack of proper facilities and information, we combine education and advocacy to empower every learner and menstruator."
During the event, UNESCO showcased a comprehensive survey and gap analysis report, accompanied by a series of short films that effectively portrayed different dimensions of Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management. These films shed light on the diverse experiences and perspectives related to this vital subject matter, spanning across seven states in India. To further break down barriers and eliminate stigma surrounding periods, an empowering "Pride of Period Anthem" was also presented, fostering a more promising and inclusive future for all individuals who menstruate.