We have been really busy with various menstruation workshops, but this one was an extremely special event! We partnered with an organization called Ceramic Industries which is a manufacturer of ceramic tiles and bathroom ware. Ceramic Industries has various factories in South Africa and as part of their CSI program, Ceramic Industries empowers young children in schools through access to extra mathematics and science lessons. Along with this program, Ceramic Industries has recognized that young school girls in particular need access to period products to not miss out on any school days.
With this in mind, On the 4th and 5th of August, Qrate stepped in to provide Menstruation Workshops for 10 schools in the Hammanskraal and Vaal area over a two-day period. In Hammanskraal, we impacted 355 learners from five schools, and on the 5th of August, we impacted 299 learners in the Vaal area. The fun-filled and jam-packed workshop kickstarted with a set of icebreakers to get the girls excited about menstruation. Following that, the facilitators presented an animated video that explains periods in a fun and enlightening way to be a launchpad for a True or False educational quiz that asked the young girls questions about the basics of periods, period products, and debunking period taboos.
Following that, the young girls participated in another interactive game where facilitators presented different period products to test their fellow classmates’ understanding of period products and menstrual health. This activity always affirms for the Qrate team that the world has educated young menstruators who are knowledgeable about the different menstrual products. The workshops tested the knowledge of participants’ knowledge of menstrual health and education. The students were extremely excited and confident and all participated with smiles on their faces!
The project consultant of Ceramic Industries Mathabo Tlali was incredibly impressed by the energy and confidence that the facilitators brought and were hopeful that the world now has confident and empowered menstruators. We are honored to have worked with Ceramic Industries and look forward to serving and providing more communities with menstrual education.
If you’d like your organization to experience the Qrate Menstruation Workshop, please send an email to email@example.com
On the 29th of July in support of Discovery, Qrate was tasked with providing another Menstruation workshop to the girls of Tswelopele Secondary School. With the aim of ending period poverty the Discovery Health Period Positivity initiative headed up by the Functional Enablement & Central Services Team, Discovery donated period products to Tswelopele Secondary School. This donation will ensure that periods will not be an obstacle to school girls’ life.
Our facilitators (Candice, Felicia, and Slu) had two sessions on the day. The first session occurred in the morning with 360 girls from Grade 8s and Grade 9s. The juniors engaged really well with the content and asked a lot of questions about different period products. The facilitators were amazed to learn just how excited and confident the juniors were about periods.
In the second afternoon session, which had 500 learners, the facilitators taught the girls about various period products and most importantly made the seniors take a period pledge. This session contained a LARGE group of girls who were excited to learn more about periods and the various period products that existed.
Out of the tasks, we asked five girls from both sessions to present period products, and the top presenter received a copy of Flow: The Book About Menstruation co-written by our Founder and Director, Candice Chirwa. The other girls received a menstrual cup from Mina Cups!
We are happy to have worked with Discovery and Mina Cups. Collaboration is key in providing a holistic solution to ending period poverty. If your corporate would like to host a CSI initiative focused on period education, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
On the 23rd of July, Qrate spent the day at Roedean High School in Parktown, Johannesburg South Africa to conduct a TWO fun-packed menstruation training workshop. As a part of their community service program, the twelve grade 11 students will spend the day at a community center to donate period products (Pads from Blossom Care Solutions and Mina Cups) and provide menstrual education to 20 girls.
For the first hour, Qrate facilitators Candice & Felicia provided menstrual education that covered: The basics of menstruation followed by an interactive quiz on period poverty, different period products, and unpacking period myths and taboos. The students participated with keen eagerness to learn and participate in the content.
After a 10-minute break, the students came back to then learn how to be a facilitator. This session focused on explaining different icebreakers, going through different menstrual activities, and finally ending it off with our Period Pledge & Period Positive Walk in which the students received a certificate for their participation.
Teacher Charlotte Hulley thoroughly enjoyed the workshop session and in particular enjoyed how the content was delivered to the students. Further, Charlotte was extremely happy to see that her students were eager to learn and engaged throughout the two hours.
One student, Nuha labeled the workshop with the statement: “Yass!” which further supports the excitement she and the students have in providing menstrual education as part of their community service program.
We at Qrate wish the grade 11 students the best of luck in their program! Go and End the Period Stigma!
As seen in Part One, a lot and more has been said about teaching little girls about menstruation, hygiene, and social taboos associated with it and such, but seldom do we talk about how to enlighten our little boys on this topic. Don’t you think it is as important for us to teach our sons in a very healthy way about the concept of menstruation? Isn’t that also one of the most important steps towards eradicating the social taboos that still exist in our society regarding menstruation?
Half the population has periods, so why not make sure the half that doesn’t is also informed? Every boy should learn about period education.
This is in part why a recent report has called for boys, as well as girls, to learn about periods and the menstrual cycle at school. Plan International, the charity behind the report, suggests there is a need to talk more about the issue as many girls feel embarrassed – with the menstrual cycle tarnished with stigma and taboo.
Their findings also reveal that one in seven of the girls and women interviewed said they did not know what was happening when they first started their period – clearly demonstrating a need for more to be done to teach young women about what’s to come.
We have provided tips on how to teach boys on periods and it’s in five easy steps!
Lesson #1: The Biological Lessons:
Before your little one reaches ‘the’ age, when the girls of his age start getting their first periods, one needs to give them basic guidance on the biological process involved with menstruation. You don’t really need to go deep into details during this stage. You just need to provide them with a little basic information for starters and later on, as he grows up, one may go into details as per his and your respective comfort levels.
Lesson #2: It’s Divine, Not Yucky!
As your little one learns about menstruation and its associated processes, it is quite natural for them to develop an aversion towards it, as it involves blood and hygiene and so on and so forth. Let him know then, that there are hygienic methods involved in addressing it and that it is not a curse.
“In fact, boys need to know that it is nature’s little secret that keeps life on this planet going and thriving.”
Lesson #3: Boom – Busting the Myths!
It is TV time and your boy child sees that cliché sanitary pad advert with the demonstration of blue ink being poured on the sanitary pad. Believe it or not, but there are some parents who tell their sons that the sanitary pad is used for absorbing excess ink from fountain pens! It is important to bust myths around things that children come across every day. By telling your boy child: “I will tell you about it in detail when you grow up. For now, it’s something that is used by big girls.” is a simple way of tackling the societal taboos that come with menstruation.
Lesson #4: Moody Mood Swings.
It is important to start teaching your boy child that girls can go through mood swings, and it not because of their period but because of hormones or either they are actually moody. And that is okay! It is important not to always blame the period for mood swings, but to at least teach boys to be sensitive towards such events.
Lesson #5: Ouch! The Pain.
Just like the mood swings, boys need to understand how much of a painful experience it could be for some girls. They need to understand why their girl classmates or friends are not in the mood to play around or have fun.
It is also important for schools to be more open about the importance of menstruation and they need to be more sympathetic towards the stigma girls face. For a start, schools should provide resources and information that girls can access. This will help them understand – rather than feel scared and fearful – what is happening to their bodies during puberty.
Talking with your children is one important step towards taking the taboo out of menstruation because to achieve gender equality on this issue, girls need to feel able to talk about their periods and challenge the discrimination that is associated with menstruation and developing girls bodies.
And boys can play a big role in this – if they also get the right support and resources.
By only educating girl children about menstruation, we will not solve the problem of menstrual taboos in this society. We need to educate our boys too, for a better period-friendly society and a better life for the women of tomorrow!
Until we change attitudes, the conversation surrounding menstruation and menstrual equality will continue to be a secret. Tell your daughters. Tell your sons. Today. The earlier we start to normalize the conversation with our children, the less of a taboo menstruation will become. It’ll be just another part of the cycle of dialogue.
Fact: People with periods menstruate monthly for about 40 years – close to 500 times in a lifetime.
Fact: Not talking about periods creates confusion, oppression, and societal harm.
It is important to talk about menstrual health, society has for too long made it a taboo.
Menstruation, despite being a completely natural and common occurrence for young girls and women for as long as our species has existed is one of the most misunderstood and feared phenomena.
MANY girls believe that periods are a burden to be borne every month, silently and in shame. Society is complicit in teaching girls that menstruation is a dirty little secret. The messaging about periods is that they are best suffered quietly and that they are certainly not appropriate for polite conversation.
“It is critical for both girls and boys to know that having your period is a natural and important part of growing up.“
So we have provided ideas for parents, guardians, teachers, and guidance counselors. Don’t be afraid of talking about periods, sharing information and advice is the best way to understand your period and have a happy month!
Firstly what is a period?
It is important to have a discussion with your child on the female reproductive system!
A first period (also known as menarche) is a special event! Spend time with your child to celebrate the start of a new chapter in their life. Sharing knowledge and experience is important to help your them feel comfortable and confident about the changes that are happening to their body.
Your period is blood passing out of your womb as part of a natural process to prepare your body for pregnancy. Now that your body is changing you can get pregnant, (and just before your first period too).
Your period happens once a month, and usually lasts between 2-7 days, but it may take a few months for your period to be regular and predictable, the first few may be light and irregular. You may find it useful to keep track of your period each month, to see when it is due and when it arrives. You can use an easy Period App such as Clue.
Preparing with correct and updated information for the first period can prevent worry. Let them know it is normal and natural and that they can still enjoy their childhood if they want to. Just because their period arrived, does not mean they want to be rushed into becoming an adult.
Talk from experience, let them know that all menstruating teenagers go through it, and you did too. Show her the menstrual health products available, how to use them and let her choose the one she feels most comfortable with.
Know the facts
It is as simple as researching online and reading up on the facts! Pass on the knowledge!
“Menstrual management can be essential in ensuring that your child’s everyday life is not interrupted by menstruation. “
It ensures that your child can continue with her daily routine such as going to school, going to work or doing household chores. It can also prevent potential situations of embarrassment and in turn, make them feel confident about herself and her body. In this sense, maintaining proper menstrual health is important for her wellbeing and development.
Not only is this post focusing on what girls and women should do, but young boys and men have a responsibility to learn about menstrual cycles (which we shall discuss in part two).
We believe that every girl should have access to safe, affordable menstrual products.
Every girl should also learn that her period is a natural even a phenomenal bodily process.
Every girl should learn that their period is not a monthly curse and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.