It has been normal for society to shame periods. But periods are #BloodyNatural, reminds The Body Shop India
- The Body Shop India's latest ad with
Shraddha Kapoorreminds the audience how 'Periods are normal, society is strange.'
- The brand has also partnered with CRY to make real change in society and raise more awareness.
Periods are normal but India’s statistics around it are not:
- 20% of girls in rural India leave schools after getting their first period. This is a direct consequence of social stigma, shame, isolation and poor access to safe menstrual products and disposal facilities.
- After domestic chores, periods and the lack of menstrual amenities like Pads, Toilets for Girls and Disposal is the biggest reason for Indian girls missing school.
- 88% of menstruating women in India use unsanitary materials like dried leaves, ash, wood shavings, old fabric/rags, newspapers etc. to absorb menstrual discharge.
- Poor menstrual hygiene leading to 70% increase in incidents of reproductive tract infections.
Menstrual hygiene is recognized by the UN as a key global health issue and yet with Covid19, menstrual vulnerability has increased sharply and so has the gender health gap. This movement by The Body Shop is aimed to create an inclusive and long-term change on ground by including all genders in the conversation and working with CRY to bring about long-term attitudinal changes in disadvantaged communities.
Over the next 4 months, The Body Shop India will partner with CRY for:
- Creating Period Awareness: Create heightened communication to normalize conversations around menstruation aimed at all genders using its wide network of stores, website and social media channels as touchpoints.
- Raising Funds for Period Projects in Pandemic-hit Communities: Targeting a minimum commitment of INR 1.2 Mn, The Body Shop encourages its patrons and customers to support the cause with a small voluntary donation of INR 20 when shopping in stores or online.
- Donating Period Products: Collect sealed period products as voluntary donations from consumers in Red Period Bins installed at all exclusive The Body Shop stores. All period products collected will be donated to local communities in need through CRY.
- Collecting Pledges: Collect digital pledges at The Body Shop stores as well as different touch points from consumers, colleagues and beyond to propel personal action as below:
- I pledge to NEVER HIDE my period products & carry them instead with pride
- I pledge to tell a male FAMILY member about periods and have open conversations with everyone at home
- I pledge to be honest about my period experiences and use the word ‘period’ with my FRIENDS instead of confusing code words
- I pledge to make my COMMUNITY a period friendly environment, supporting education about period shame and providing quality products, private facilities and a proper disposable unit
- I pledge to ask my SCHOOL to include expert period education in the curriculum
- Period Product distribution to 1000+ adolescent girls and women
- Period Pathshala Sessions to educate adolescent girls and boys on menstrual health and hygiene including usage of period products.
- Videos and Movie Screenings with adolescent girls and boys to build awareness and bust myths prevalent around menstruation
- Anemia check-up kiosks to screen for common menstrual health conditions
- Capacity building sessions with Front line health workers from community. Includes Anganwadi workers, ASHA, ANM and project team members to access benefit of Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS) and access to public sanitary pad schemes.
Shraddha Kapoor, Brand Ambassador, The Body Shop India said, “It gives me immense joy to lend my voice for an issue that is so close to my heart. Period shame is deeply rooted in our upbringing and there is no better time than now to question its existence. Most Indian girls feel uncomfortable in talking about periods openly and this leads to lack of awareness of menstrual health in women. Along with The Body Shop, I pledge to contribute to this noble cause in every possible way that I can, small or big. I request you all to make a pledge, donate what you can and help create real change by ending period shame together.”
On their partnership with The Body Shop India, Puja Marwaha, CEO, Child Rights and You (CRY) said, “Field experiences gathered by CRY suggest that periods is a major reason behind girls dropping out of schools – a fact that is echoed by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) data which indicates that only 57% of adolescent girls between 15-19 years are blessed with any hygienic form of protection during their menstrual cycles. CRY is delighted to partner with The Body Shop, and together we intend to create social awareness about menstrual hygiene, and at the same time, attempt to amplify voices demanding the access to free and quality sanitary napkins, safe disposal mechanisms, functional toilets and regular awareness sessions on menstrual hygiene. We both strongly believe that awareness is the key to break the taboo and shame related to periods in our society.”