FWB (FTAPCCI Women in Business) is a women’s arm of FAPCCI focusing on enhancing and upgrading social, economic and financial independence of women entrepreneurs, professionals and free lancers, thereby helping aspiring women to evolve.
FWB has initiated a series of programs under the umbrella of Renaissance (meaning change) which showcases the intention and determination to empower women to undertake activity through which contributed to their mobility, capacity building, leadership skills, entrepreneurship, and empowerment.
The theme of this month was Healthitude Unplugged and I got an opportunity to address the audience about eco-friendly menstrual practices.
As all the women started pouring in at the event venue, it looked as if we were on a mission to paint the city RED. Yes, RED was the dress code of the event and synced very well with the message that we wanted to spread among women that evening.
After the first speaker spoke about overall nutrition and fitness and shared few health tips with audience, I came on to the stage to have an engaging conversation with them about eco-friendly menstrual practices. I started with introducing Naari and our objectives. The very first portion of our talk was an ice breaking activity so they could all get comfortable with the topic Menstruation – after all it’s not an easy topic even among women. This activity was actually helpful in setting up the tone for my upcoming talk. I asked audience members to share some interesting names which they use to talk about menstruation among fellow women or friends. I came to know some of the best and hilarious names through this activity. Did you ever hear names like ‘lal bahadur shastry, machine mein lal dhaga atka hai, or even auntyji ayin hain’. Someone even shared a one liner: What did a sanitary napkin tell to a woman? A: GIVE ME RED BABY. Guess what? The best names did get a few samples of organic menstrual products. The prize was given not to encourage their act of addressing menstruation with different names, but it was to reward their confidence as they spoke about menstruation in open.
The activity followed with a video spreading a similar message – The Beauty of Red. All the women were moved by it, clapping with all their hearts and resonating with the fact that it’s time we end period shaming. After all it is a natural process of our body!
Moving further, we discussed the physical discomforts often women and girls face due to prolonged use of commercial sanitary napkins. This discussion led us further to another talk on the harmful chemicals in these disposables and their ill effects on our health and environment. We discussed about how the natural resources are being consumed by these sanitary napkin manufacturing companies and then they harm our bodies due to the exposure of chemicals and lastly end in landfills often polluting soil and underwater. I was happy the women present there were listening with great interest and aghast at the information shared.
The last section was an introduction of eco-friendly menstrual products and sharing with the audience ways to use them and maintain them hygienically. During this section, I asked the audience if they knew something about the menstrual cups. To my dismay, many of them had not heard of menstrual cups, however, I was amused to see a hand rise to share information and was further pleasantly surprised to see a school girl sharing whatever little knowledge she knew. I had to reward her for her courage and confidence and gifted her a pack of organic sanitary napkins.
Eventually the talk came to an end and I was more than happy with their response. The audience were interested in knowing further details about the products, wanted their friends and loved ones to know about the products and certainly wanted to try the products themselves. I understand thinking about switching to cups is still a naïve thought to many, however, they will surely switch to other methods eventually. I remain hopeful as always.
About the author:
Anju worked with Deloitte for seven years before taking a break to spend time with her kids. She has experience in a number of HR verticals including recruiting services, talent operations and talent technology. She last worked as a Recruiting Management system (RMS) Administrator for entire India offices.
Recently, Anju launched a Women Wellness programme called Naari. Via Naari she aims to spread awareness among women regarding personal wellness, while highlighting the kind of harmful chemicals women expose themselves to and their potential health risks. She also promotes organic hygiene products.
Read more articles by Anju here.