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 email@example.com!
On the 17th of July, Qrate hosted a workshop for 60 participants for the JGF Annual Summit. We spent an hour teaching the participants about Menstrual Health Education and they learnt a lot about themselves and their bodies.
The fun-filled and jam-packed workshop kickstarted with a video that took the participants on a visual journey of the experience of the first period in a world of full-fledged positivity and support for periods. The video was a thought-provoking launchpad that set up an interesting conversation to ease into the workshop.
The workshop included an eye-opening quiz that assisted the participants to debunk numerous menstrual myths and taboos. The quiz exposed the participants to glaring statistics that illustrated the sheer magnitude and impact of menstrual inequity that persists in society. This activity aided to contextualise the challenging circumstances that millions of menstruators face throughout the globe.
The activities that followed suit were all about empowering the participants to get comfortable with openly using menstrual jargon with pride and confidence. To take it a notch further, the participants also engaged in an interactive session about the different types of menstrual products and their varied applications. The Qrate team can proudly affirm that the world now has a fresh group of young adults who are knowledgeable about the different menstrual product options and their uses.
The workshop highlighted to the participants that menstrual inequity is everyone’s problem therefore, it requires everyone to work toward breaking the period stigma. The JGF Annual Summit participants reflected this sentiment as they all actively engaged with the content of the workshop. In addition, the participants took on a period pledge to confirm their commitment to advocating for menstrual health.
A lot of work needs to be done to protect the human rights of menstruators. The bottom line is that change starts with rejecting period shaming and embracing period positivity. This change needs to be driven by awareness raising and menstrual education for everyone.
Let’s change mindsets and overturn regressive systems!
The project manager of JGF, Jade Glenn was incredibly impressed by the dynamic way the workshop was conducted and how the facilitators made the fellows have fun on a topic that is often seen as awkward.
One of the workshop participants enthusiastically shared that the workshop equipped them with the tools and knowledge to educate and empower young girls in their community on menstrual health – now this is what we call a domino effect!
We are honoured to have hosted this workshop in collaboration with JGF. We are looking forward to more stimulating workshops!
If you’d like your organisation to experience the Qrate Menstruation Workshop, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching a kid about consent has nothing to do with teaching them about sex. It’s about respecting boundaries.
We believe parents can start educating children about consent and empowerment as early as 1 year old and continuing into the university years. It is our sincere hope that this post can help us raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent.
In general terms, consent is a matter of an individual granting someone or something permission for a particular event to take place. It is the achievement of willful acknowledgment, sexual acceptance and eventually permission (expressly stated) by a female/male, to an advance made by a member of the same/opposite sex.
General explanations such as these unlock doors that open up the opportunity for questions such as how does one relate this concept to children? Or, how do parents, guardians, teachers etc. teach their children about consent?
As far as that is concerned, teaching consent becomes a rather simple process that requires practice and discipline in other areas of life.
The act of teaching consent and the conversation around sexual consent starts at the early childhood development stages, by guardians teaching their children to understand their bodies & body language to respect the same & opposite sex but most importantly by teaching them to speak up for what they believe in.
Some of the steps and many ways in which guardians can teach their children consent include:
1. Boundaries remain vitally important from childhood.
What about boundaries is so important you ask? Well, boundaries influence factors such as behavior and understanding. Boundaries are types of limits the facilitate the establishment of qualities such as empathy, support, respect, and discipline, as well as caring for oneself and others.
If boundaries are crossed, a punishment can be allocated to establish a consequence for negative behavior. This in itself allows children to understand the remaining elements of this discussion concerning the teaching of consent in children.
2. Respect remains as significant as teaching boundaries.
Teaching children respect is interchangeably linked to the phenomena of consent in that respect allows for the development of positive relationships and relationship enhancing skills. Through respect, some factors that children are able to develop a more open-minded sense.
3. Communication & consequence it is important to communicate intent & permission for touching, kissing, or various sexual behaviors.
If one does not have consent for a said act, the act could consequently lead to be considered a form of sexual assault. It is also extremely vital that there be a clear and open line of communication between child and guardian. Parents/Guardians must be willing to listen to their children and teach them that their emotions are warranted.
4. Reinforcing the use of the word NO and accepting the word
As you can see, there are countless aspects to consider when teaching children about the phenomena of consent. It’s important to remember that, as a parent and/ or guardian, it never too early to teach children about consent.
By children having a greater awareness of what consent entails, children can then be more thoroughly prepared for developing and promoting healthy functional relationships which encompass facets such as boundaries, respect, listening, and communication.
Teach your kids that “no” and “stop” are important words and should be honored. One way to explain this may be, “Thandi said ‘no’, and when we hear ‘no’ we always stop what we’re doing immediately. No matter what.“
Also, teach your child that his or her “no’s” are to be honored. Explain that just like we always stop doing something when someone says “no”, that our friends need to always stop when we say “no”, too. If a friend doesn’t stop when we say “no,” then we need to think about whether or not we feel good, and safe, playing with them. If not, it’s okay to choose other friends.
If you feel you must intervene, do so. Be kind, and explain to the other child how important “no” is. Your child will internalize how important it is both for himself and others.
Consent is as simple as tea!
We have provided visual links on teaching consent to children. Feel free to watch it together with your kids!
This video helps kids of all ages understand consent in a fun and friendly manner!
Consent is as simple as tea This video shows how consent as the act of making tea and serves a great way of making children understand what consent is by using a simple act they could relate to which may make the conversation around consent less frightening for both parent/guardian and child!
About the Authors: Born in a small town called Zeerust, 24-year-old Mokgabo Maletswa is a graduate in Bachelor of Commerce in Finance who strives to achieve excellence in each and everything. Her complex combination of resilience, vibrancy, patience, diligence and her nature to help those who are less fortunate has led her to lead organizations like ABASA NWU-VTC. Being a caregiver and leader has come naturally. Her mantra in life is that she necessarily doesn’t what to change the world but spark the brain that will, through thought-provoking conversations and genuineness.
Natacha Martins is a 22-year-old female who is a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree and Honours Equivalent in the field of Psychology obtained at the Pearson Institute of Higher Education. Natacha is currently completing a TEFL certificate. Natacha has both experience and interests in the fields of university readiness, children’s education, research, statistics, school counseling, parental guidance counseling, addiction counseling, and alternative therapeutic methods through sport and physical activity.
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.