Creating safe spaces in communities and schools to educate and uninhibit

PeriodShala

Across urban and rural India, menstruation is believed to be ‘impure’. Overwhelming stigma, taboos and a lack of knowledge prevents women, girls and people who menstruate from seeking healthcare, making informed choices about their bodies and participating in school and the workforce, ultimately exacerbating existing gender inequity.

PeriodShala sessions enact behaviour change at an individual and community level to:

Dispel stigma, shame and harmful taboos to improve participation and advocacy

Normalise reproductive bodily processes to encourage dialogue and health-seeking behaviour

Improve hygienic practices and self-care to reduce the risk of infection or illness

Encourage informed choice to improve agency

Breaking the silence around these taboo topics mobilises men, boys, community leaders, teachers and health care workers to build supportive environments where menstruators can advocate for their needs and reclaim agency over their bodies. Learn more about how we seek to reduce gender inequity in marginalised communities.

Over four weeks, our trained male and female Aarogya Saathis create safe spaces to share education around:

Reproductive
 biology during 
various life stages

Nutrition and
 self-care

Critical thinking
 around reproductive 
practices and taboos

Hygiene, infections
and disorders

Personal care and
 hygiene product
 information

Initiating dialogue
with community,
family and friends

Explore Our Programmes

Slide Aanchal shared nervously that she did not know what periods were, as no one had ever spoken to her about them. She was scared that her mother would scold her. Sakshi, a Period Fellow and PeriodShala facilitator, took a moment to chat to Aanchal about hygienic practices and products until she felt a little calmer. After the session, Sakshi approached Aanchal’s mother to explain that Aanchal had gotten her period and that she wished to use a period tracker to follow her cycle. Aanchal’s mother was sceptical at first but Sakshi was able to explain how Aanchal could use the printed calendar to understand her body better. Aanchal was grateful for the safe space and felt more confident in facing the changes to her body. Aanchal (name changed for anonymity) is 12 years old and got her first period during class. She tried to make sense of what was happening to her as her classmates looked on giggling. Slide The intensity of the infection had prevented Rekha from visiting her friends and family for one year, out of embarrassment for the way she had to sit. Rekha learnt about infections during a PeriodShala session in her community. By the third session, she had visited a gynaecologist and discovered that she had a severe urinary tract infection. Within three days of taking the prescribed medication, Rekha shared that she had started visiting her friends and relatives again as she was feeling much better. She realised that neglecting her own health ended up affecting others too, and in order to care for them, she had to prioritise her own health.

Uninhibited Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable trust registered in Bengaluru, India. Reg. No. MLS-4-00014-2016-18.
Gramin Vikas Samiti is a registered society with the Registrar, Firm & Societies Chandigarh, India. Reg. No. HR-018-2012-00121.
Uninhibited Australia Ltd is a registered company under the Corporations Act 2001 in Victoria, Australia. Australian Company Number (ACN) 647 986 365.

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Sukhibhava Foundation is delighted to announce its strategic partnership with Gramin Vikas Samiti (GVS), a fellow non-profit with 24 years of experience working on social development in rural contexts across India. In the spirit of collaboration, we will now be recognised as 'Uninhibited', a rebranded identity that reflects our common vision to enable marginalised menstruators to become uninhibited in advocating for their needs, leading to improved wellbeing and equitable participation in school, the workforce and society. Stay in the loop with our quarterly newsletter to learn more about our impact, upcoming events and how you can get involved.