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Spreading Menstrual Hygiene Awareness

In India, there is a definitive silence around the topic of menstruation. As a result of this silence, a crisis surrounding the health, happiness and education of young girls is born. In order to break the taboo, WaterAid India wanted to start ‘talking’ about this crisis and is roots. We worked on a series of posters for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2015 that have not only opened up channels of conversation, but are also helping bring a transformative change to attitudes.

As per the WaterAid’s website  “The importance of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is mostly neglected. Menstrual hygiene is a taboo subject; a topic that many women are uncomfortable discussing in public. This is compounded by gender inequality, which excludes women and girls from decision-making processes. Seventy percent of mothers consider menstruation ‘dirty’.”

WaterAid India is part of the global WaterAid network which has been working for four decades to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene across the world. We have been working with WaterAid India since 2015 on a large variety of communications such as publications and reports, diaries and calendars for 2016 and 2017, infographics for important awareness days, graphics for social media, animated videos, events and much more.

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Poster series on Break The Taboo

A series of 7 posters were created to start the conversation on MHD 2015. The posters work in a progression in which we first see a young girl behind a window but one that is essentially a prison. We show her trapped behind the bars, the bars created out of the many myths surrounding menstruation. As the series progresses, we highlight each myth and go on to discredit them. In the last poster of the series, we see the same girl in a happy state of mind, sitting on the same window that was previously imprisoning her.

The menstrual hygiene crisis is faced by almost 70% of girls (and women) in India. Hence, to bring that about, we created a different character for each of the myths in the poster. Imagine an Aanganwadi worker discussing the problems with a large group of girls; when they see different girls looking back at them, they would not feel alone in their plight.

Thank you very much for sharing the posters on MHM. I want to acknowledge the theme and quality of these posters as we could straight away use them in Pakistan […]

Kindly convey our appreciation to all the relevant team members who developed these posters.”

Communication department at Water Aid Pakistan put in a word of praise for the posters.

WAI MHM photo

The Posters being a talking point

The posters were used both on social media as well as in WA project areas. The posters targeted both the urban and rural audiences of the country. For the rural audience the myths were used as talking points on the need for menstrual hygiene management.

They were adapted in four regional languages (Hindi, Telugu, Odiya and Kannada) and released in events held across regions.