10 Ways to Take Action for Menstrual Health Month

10 Ways to Take Action for Menstrual Health Month

Hey Qraters,

May is such an important month, it is Menstrual Health Month. As the Founder and Director of Qrate, menstrual health is a topic that I am extremely passionate about. Did you know that Menstrual Hygiene Day is a day that is commemorated every year on the 28th of May? And did you know that this year it is the 10th anniversary? It is important to understand that we all have a role and responsibility in creating a #PeriodFriendlyWorld to ensure that Period Poverty is a thing of the past. From breaking taboos to ensuring access to essential products, there are numerous ways individuals can contribute to this cause. Here are ten actionable steps you can take to support Menstrual Health Month and make a difference:

  1. Participate in Menstrual Hygiene Day Events: Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated on May 28th, is a global initiative to break the silence around menstruation. Attend local events, webinars, or virtual discussions organized by advocacy groups or NGOs. Share your experiences, insights, and learnings to contribute to the conversation using hashtags like #PeriodFriendlyWorld and #MHD. Qrate is hosting a variety of events this month:
    • Qrate, in collaboration with Girls on Bikes, is hosting a social cycling event called Cycle 4 Change on the 25th of May. If you love riding and want to ride with a community, please join us! Follow Girls on Bikes Instagram for updates.
    • On the 28th of May, Qrate in collaboration with The Menstrual Project is hosting its’ first inaugural Flow Forward Annual Event. There will be panel discussions, an art exhibition and a variety of period product stalls. Attendance is free. You can get your tickets here.
  2. Educate Yourself and Others: Knowledge is power. Take the time to educate yourself about menstrual health, hygiene, and related issues. Share reliable information with friends, family, and colleagues to dispel menstruation myths and misconceptions.
  3. Advocate for Policy Change: Advocate for policies prioritising menstrual health and hygiene. Write to policymakers, sign petitions, and support organizations lobbying for menstrual equity, including access to free or subsidized menstrual products in schools, workplaces, and public spaces.
  4. Support Menstrual Product Drives: Donate menstrual products to shelters, schools, or organizations supporting marginalized communities. Period poverty affects millions worldwide, and your contribution can significantly improve access to essential hygiene products. Get your school or work members involved in raising funds to donate period products.
  5. Break the Silence: Break the silence surrounding menstruation by initiating open and honest conversations with friends, family, and peers. Encourage others to share their experiences and concerns without fear of judgment or stigma.
  6. Engage on Social Media: Use your social media platforms to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. Share informative posts, personal stories, and resources to educate and inspire others. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags like #MenstrualHealthMonth and #PeriodPositive to amplify your message.

7. Create Menstrual Health Art or Content: Express your support for menstrual health through creative means. Create art, poetry, videos, or blog posts highlighting menstrual hygiene’s importance and challenging societal norms and stereotypes.

8. Buy or Make Your Own Menstrual Health Bracelet: As a symbolic gesture of solidarity, create your own menstrual health bracelet. Use 28 beads in total, with 5 red beads representing days of menstruation and 23 white beads symbolizing the average menstrual cycle length. Wear it proudly as a reminder of the ongoing fight for menstrual equity and dignity.

    9. Support Menstrual Health Organizations: Support organizations dedicated to menstrual health and hygiene initiatives. Consider volunteering your time, skills, or resources to help further their mission. Whether assisting with fundraising efforts, volunteering at events, or providing administrative support, your contribution can make a meaningful difference in advancing menstrual equity.

    10. Advocate for Comprehensive Menstrual Education: Advocate for comprehensive menstrual education in schools and communities. Push for inclusive curricula that cover topics such as menstrual hygiene, reproductive health, and gender equality. Encourage schools to provide access to menstrual products in bathrooms and educate both students and teachers about menstrual health in an inclusive and stigma-free manner. By advocating for comprehensive menstrual education, we can empower individuals with the knowledge and resources they need to manage their menstrual health effectively and with dignity.

    Menstrual Health Month provides a valuable opportunity to advocate for change and promote inclusivity in menstrual health and hygiene. By taking action, raising awareness, and supporting those in need, we can contribute to building a more period-friendly world. Let’s work together to ensure that menstruation is no longer a taboo topic but a celebrated aspect of women’s health and well-being. And that’s on PERIOD!

      Qrate Empowers at Kingsmead College: Tackling Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Head-On!

      Qrate Empowers at Kingsmead College: Tackling Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Head-On!

      Hello Qraters,

      On November 30th, the Qrate team had the privilege of visiting Kingsmead College, a private all-girls school, to conduct a dynamic Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Workshop. With an audience of 320 girls, the two-hour session proved to be a transformative experience.

      For two engaging hours, our dedicated Qrate team led a two-part workshop, diving deep into the nuances of menstrual health and addressing the critical issue of period poverty. The sessions were not just informative; they were interactive, creating a safe space for open dialogue and exploration.

      Our Menstrual Health sessions for the Kingsmead Girls were designed to be more than just a presentation; it was an experience. Engaging activities kept the energy high and the conversations flowing. From debunking myths to exploring the different facets of menstrual health, the girls actively participated in every aspect of the workshop. As the workshop unfolded, the enthusiasm in the room was palpable. The girls left inspired, not just with knowledge but with a determination to be catalysts for change. The conversation extended beyond the classroom, with many expressing a newfound commitment to end period poverty in South Africa.

      At Qrate, our mission goes beyond education; it’s about empowerment. We believe that by arming young minds with critical thinking skills and knowledge, we can create a generation that dismantles stigmas and advocates for change. The Kingsmead College workshop was a significant step in that direction.

      A heartfelt thank you to Kingsmead College for the warm welcome and to the 320 incredible girls who made this workshop a success. Your enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference are truly inspiring. As we reflect on this impactful session, we look forward to more opportunities to collaborate with schools, communities, and organizations.

      Together, we can create a future where menstrual health is a right, not a privilege. Period!

      Breaking Barriers: Qrate and Siemens Healthineers STEP-UP to deliver Menstrual Health Workshop at Fons Luminis Secondary School

      Breaking Barriers: Qrate and Siemens Healthineers STEP-UP to deliver Menstrual Health Workshop at Fons Luminis Secondary School

      Hello, Qraters!

      On the 20th of November, our commitment to menstrual health education reached new heights as we joined forces with Siemens Healthineers to conduct an enlightening workshop at Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof, Soweto. This collaboration marked a significant stride towards empowering young minds with knowledge and dismantling menstrual myths.

      Siemens Healthineers South Africa is dedicated to fostering the sustainable progress of our community and its residents. The Healthineers team advocates for a supportive approach rather than a one-time charitable contribution, emphasizing ongoing collaboration in social investments. Teaming up with Siemens Healthineers Step Up initiative allowed the Qrate team to leverage their expertise in health education, creating a dynamic and engaging platform for Fons Luminis Secondary School girls. The collaboration aimed to foster an open dialogue about menstrual health, providing a safe space for 141 young girls to learn, share, and grow.

      The workshop was designed to focus on the fundamental basics of menstrual health. The activities were informative but also fun and interactive, ensuring that the girls were not just passive listeners but active participants in their education. From understanding the menstrual cycle to exploring different period products, the workshop covered a comprehensive range of topics.

      Dispelling myths surrounding menstruation is crucial for fostering a healthy and informed attitude towards this natural bodily process. Through engaging discussions and myth-busting activities, the girls gained insights that will empower them to navigate their menstrual journeys confidently. After the workshop, the Principal of Fons Luminis Secondary School (Mr.Livhuwani Sundani) expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the Qrate workshop sharing his sentiments about the lived realities of school girls and period poverty.

      We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Siemens Healthineers for their unwavering support and commitment to this cause. Together, we’ve planted seeds of knowledge that will undoubtedly blossom into a future where menstrual health is understood, celebrated, and free from stigma. As we reflect on this successful collaboration, we look forward to more opportunities to create positive change, one workshop at a time. Here’s to breaking barriers, shattering myths, and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

      If you are passionate about menstrual health education and believe in empowering young minds, we welcome collaborations and sponsorships to expand our reach and impact. Let’s work together to make a lasting difference.

      Reach out to us at info@qrate.org.za. Together, let’s continue the journey of education, empowerment, and breaking taboos. Period!

      Empowering Tomorrow: Qrate’s Collaborative Initiative with the Embassy of Argentina at Lowe Primary School

      Empowering Tomorrow: Qrate’s Collaborative Initiative with the Embassy of Argentina at Lowe Primary School

      Hello, Qraters!

      Step into the heart of community development, where Qrate and the Embassy of Argentina in South Africa joined forces for a transformative and empowering day at Lowe Primary School. This collaborative effort marked a significant expansion of the longstanding partnership, moving beyond sports development to address a critical issue: period poverty.

      On the day, we had 140 young girls engage in our fun Menstrual Health Workshop. Facilitated by our Qrate facilitator Lebo Kotane, this session aimed not only to impart knowledge but also to foster a sense of empowerment among the participants. From debunking myths to delivering accurate information, the workshop became a safe space of enlightenment, equipping these young individuals with essential insights into menstrual health.

      The day unfolded into an Art Prizegiving ceremony, acknowledging and celebrating the artistic prowess of Lowe Primary’s students. This multi-dimensional approach, combining education with creativity, exemplifies Qrate’s commitment to fostering holistic development within communities.

      A commendable extension of commitment by the Embassy of Argentina was witnessed on this occasion. Known for their contributions to sports development at Lowe Primary School, the Embassy has now taken a holistic approach by addressing period poverty. Beyond the distribution of menstrual products, this collaboration underscores a commitment to ensuring that no student’s education is hindered by the lack of access to essential hygiene resources. In light of the success achieved through this collaboration, Qrate extends a formal call to action to organizations across sectors. The issue at hand—period poverty—is a shared challenge that demands collective attention. Organizations, regardless of scale, are invited to align their efforts with Qrate to contribute substantively to the eradication of period poverty.

      Corporations, non-profit entities, and individuals with a vested interest in societal well-being are encouraged to explore engagement opportunities. Collaborative initiatives, sponsorships, and volunteer endeavours are pathways through which collective efforts can make a tangible impact on the lives of those affected by period poverty.

      Qrate’s collaborative initiative at Lowe Primary School serves as a testament to the power of strategic partnerships in effecting positive change. From menstrual health education to artistic appreciation, the day encapsulated a vision for an empowered future.

      Ready to make a difference? Contact Qrate to express interest in collaborating on Menstrual Health Workshops at info@qrate.org.za.

      Qrate LEAPS together in bringing Period Positivity to the Leap Maths & Science School girls!

      Qrate LEAPS together in bringing Period Positivity to the Leap Maths & Science School girls!

      Hello, Qraters!

      Menstruation is a natural biological process experienced by half of the world’s population, yet it remains a topic shrouded in stigma and shame. Educating young girls about menstruation is essential so they can understand their bodies and manage their menstrual cycles confidently.

      On the 19th and 20th of April, Qrate hosted a menstruation workshop for the 120 girl learners from Leap Sciences and Maths School in Diepsloot and Linbro Park. In collaboration with the Leap Institute’s Learning and Living Labs Leader, Neliswa Nyandeni, our facilitators Candice, Felicia, and Selo hosted an impactful two-day workshop that covered a wide range of topics, including the biology of menstruation, menstrual health practices, menstrual products, and the emotional and mental aspects of menstruation.

      Qrate facilitated an interactive workshop that engaged the participants in empowering activities to learn more about their bodies and periods while leading critical discussions on the impact of period stigma in society. The workshop held a safe space for our participants to express themselves freely through dance, singing, sharing their experiences, and asking questions about all things periods.

      The two-day workshop was packed with fun activities that promote the engagement and participation of the students. The #KnowYourFlo session kickstarted with energizing icebreakers to encourage the students to feel encouraged to participate.

      Our workshop also used visual learning as a way in which participants could learn more about periods. During our workshop, we showed an animated short video introducing periods and a short movie called “First Period”. The “First Period” was a powerful visual experience because it showed the participants a period-positive world that contrasts the lived realities of the period stigma millions of menstruators continue to face today. This video highlighted to the participants that creating a period-positive world is possible if we break the period stigma within ourselves, communities, and governance structures.

      At Qrate, we aim to transfer period experiences and knowledge through our true and false quizzes, period myths game, and our what would you do game. 

      • True and False Game: Our participants took part in a quick-fire True or False quiz that questioned participants about the quick facts about periods and period statistics. The true or false quiz highlighted the sheer magnitude of the menstrual inequality world concerning mainstreaming access to period products, menstrual health, and menstrual education. 
      • Alien Game: The Alien game was not just about learning about the applications of the various menstrual products but also a research activity where the students got to dig deep to understand what type of materials are used to manufacture the different menstrual products. This menstrual product research got the participants thinking about the impact of certain period products on our environment and planet.

      The workshop closed with the participants taking their period pledge, vowing to talk openly about periods so they are part of the change in breaking the chain of stigma towards periods. The students each received period products from our period partners: The Pad Princess and Komani Pads.

      We’d like to thank the Leap Institute for inviting Qrate to host the #KnowYourFlo Period Workshops! We’re excited for delivering our workshops to the other Leap Schools in South Africa as part of our ongoing #PeriodPositiveTour.

      To invite Qrate to your school or organisation, reach out to the Qrate team on: info@qrate.org.za.