Empower the Period: WomenStrong International Consortium members talk about periods around the world

Empower the Period: WomenStrong International Consortium members talk about periods around the world


Menstruation is a very big thing in my culture. They use that time of the month, my friend. Periods. Menses I am bleeding (Mwen gen san). The red thing (Ti rouj) Wabuninswa. Wabuninswa means literally “You’ve broken your hand,” because during that period, you know, you are somehow exempted from a lot of the traditional rules like sweeping, cooking. It has come (Li vini). And, the new moon (Lalin la nouvel) Mostly maadhavilakku in Tamil. Vilakku means we have to kept away. They have to kept alone, during those periods. Okwefikshwe. Special rooms were kept outside the main compound for a woman who had her period. the backyard entry is known as efikshwe, so like when you have your period, we say Okwefikshwe. I’m going to the moon. I’ve gone on a trip. That thing. “She’s killed an elephant.” Wokumsono. She’s going to bring forth more children, you know, she’s done the utmost. So Wokumsono. So, one of the things that we are doing to combat this problem of, you know, girls having menstruation as a problem is an empowerment program. What we are doing through WomenStrong International is training. We offer training on reproductive health and part of it is also menstrual health. Take your pad and start opening it. Building their self-esteem. Giving them access to getting these sanitary pads. When they have those trainings they’re very confident that they do not have to be embarrassed when they have their periods. They now come to school knowing that I know I am going to have sanitary towel and know what to do, and so they’re not afraid. It is empowering. They gain confidence. They are able to face the world very boldly.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

1 Comment

  1. Great video. It's great to highlight the experiences of girls across cultures and to see that we share so many taboos and fears but also the awesome potential to be mothers.

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