Gender Jalebi is back! In this episode, Shibili Suhanah, a dynamic young activist from Kasargod, Kerala, speaks of her work in raising awareness about menstruation, the myths and superstitions about the biological process that surprise her on the way, and how she hopes that the efforts of her and her fellow activists can cut through the period-shaming that still persists in the country.
As an HR personnel in the Kerala-based organisation, The Red Cycle, and the CEO of WISH (Women’s Initiative for Success and Happiness), which her mother and she founded, Shibili interacts with wide-ranging sets of people, initiating conversations about a topic that still elicits cringe, horror, blind beliefs, and shame in India. She talks about growing up in a progressive household where purchasing a packet of sanitary pads and walking out with it without the ‘protective’ cover of a black plastic bag didn’t invite scandal. She talks about the terrible anatomy lessons taught in schools. Or not! “I remember teachers taking a leave on the day they had to teach us about menstruation!”, she chuckles. She also talks about the men who get involved in the conversations and how they often go back with the realisation that they never knew anything about what was involved when it came to periods!
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Written by Shruti Sharada.