Innovating evidence-based solutions to gender
inequity in marginalised communities


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
Improve hygienic
practices and self-care
to reduce the risk of
infection or illness
Encourage informed
choice to improve
Breaking the silence around these taboo topics mobilises men, boys, community leaders, teachers and healthcare
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.

Support Our Work

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

 biology during 
various life stages

Nutrition and

Critical thinking
 around reproductive 
practices and taboos

Hygiene, infections
and disorders

Personal care and
hygiene product

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. Anchal (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. Rekha (name changed for anonymity) had been experiencing itching in her genital area causing her to sit with her legs spread apart to minimise irritation. She continued to prioritise caring for the household and children over seeing a doctor.

Sukhibhava Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable trust registered in Bengaluru, India.
Reg. No. MLS-4-00014-2016-18.

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