Last Friday (28 May) was World Menstrual Hygiene Day which aims to break the silence, raise awareness and change negative social norms around menstrual health and hygiene.
So, this week we're talking all about periods! We've covered the latest win for the free period products movement in Surrey, an Oscar winning documentary short film about a period revolution and Shuari Naidoo's menstrual cup company.
Of course we've also included a round up of non-period related news too. Like the Australian teenagers who just won big on climate change, Simone Biles solidifying her status as the GOAT, and the next generation of leaders making change.
Let's get glowing!
Free Period Products in Surrey, England
In what has been hailed as a milestone moment for people who menstruate, Surrey has become the first council in England to provide free period products.
Teaming up with period charity Binti International, Surrey County Council will be providing free pads from public buildings and offices in the area. Binti International aims to ensure access to period products and to help dismantle period stigma.
Research by charity Plan International recently found that three in 10 girls in the UK have struggled to afford or access period products during the pandemic.
"We have to be brave enough to challenge the reason behind the shame that leads to so many women and girls suffering in silence." says Manjit K Gill, founder of Binti International.
This news comes off the back of Amika George's successful campaign to get the government to fund free period products in every school across England.
Anj Sharma Helped Achieve A Big Win In The Battle Against Climate Change
The Federal Court of Australia has found the environment minister has a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis.
Led by 16-year-old Anj Sharma, a group of eight teenagers teamed up with an 86-year-old nun (Sister Brigid Arthur) to launch a case to prevent the approval of a massive coal mine.
The judgement in the Federal Court is understood to be the first time a court has ordered a government to specifically protect people from the harm of climate change. Teenagers: One, Government: Nil.
You Need To Watch
Period. End of Sentence.
A 2018 Oscar winning documentary short film about Indian women leading a quiet sexual revolution.
Directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, the documentary-film follows women in rural India - where the stigma of menstruation persists - who make low-cost sanitary pads on a new machine and stride toward financial independence.
Bonus Reco: You Need To Read
Because who doesn't love a bonus reco?!
Make It Happen: How To Be An Activist by Amika George.
The 21-year-old founder of Free Periods (yes, the same woman who campaigned for free period products across schools in England) breaks down how you can be an activist and make history - from anywhere in the world.
- Simone Biles is the GOAT! She made history as the first female gymnast to land a Yurchenko double pike. Oh, and she performed it while wearing a white leotard with a rhinestone goat on it - a nod to her status as the greatest of all time. Well played Simone, well played.
- The next generation of leaders are shaking things up. TIME Magazine's 2021 Next Generation Leaders list is out now. You'll be intimated and inspired by those on the list. Like Zarifa Ghafari - Afghanistan's youngest Mayor who's putting her life on the line to improve her community, and Iza - the Afro-Brazilian pop star using her platform to fight racism.
- Nicola (aka Nix) Adams' rise to fame in New Zealand is beyond inspiring. Adams went from losing custody of her children, experiencing homlessnesss, and battling drug addiction and prostitution to co-presenting Terei Tonight on Māori TV. Find out how she turned her life around here.
- Fifty shades of beige (foundation) in Australia - Rebecca Willink in on a mission to change this! Willink has started a petition calling for better representation of diverse skin tones on the shelves of Australian supermarkets. "Despite many brands now manufacturing make-up in a range of darker shades, it is still impossible purchase these products in stores.
- Hire more women! Wise advice by Emuye Reynolds, who wants to increase representation of women, particularly women of colour, in the engineering industry. Reynolds was one of the world’s first iOS developers. She shares her thoughts on why having diverse role models is important.
Shuari Naidoo Is Here To End Period Poverty, Save The Planet And Address The Stigma Of Periods In Society
Shuari Naidoo wears many hats: full-time student at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, President of Victoria University's Feminist Organization and Founder and CEO of Moraka Menstrual Cups.
Some fun facts about Naidoo: she loves helping others and spreading awareness around women's health, intersectional feminism, and human rights. Her go-to coffee is a mocha with coconut milk - "the chocolate syrup and coconut milk intensifies that indulgent morning coffee!"
Established in 2019 through the Young Enterprise Scheme, Moraka Menstrual Cups’ mission is to make periods cost-effective and sustainable. Fun fact: menstrual cups last around ten years and are estimated to save people up to $5000 in disposable sanitary products over that time.
Moraka Menstrual Cups are also affordable - they're priced at $20 (NZD) compared to the average cost for a menstrual cup of $30 to $90.
Naidoo currently operates Moraka Menstrual Cups in New Zealand and supplies cups to NGOs like Endo Warriors Aotearoa and The Period Place. But she has big plans for the future.
"I would love to sell menstrual cups after university ... I see Moraka as a platform for education and awareness and am open to changing with the times and demand. I see Moraka as a catalyst for a bigger and strong movement."
From Leading Climate Action To Fighting For Gender Equality - Amina Mohammed Has Done It All
Amina Mohammed started her career in the private sector working with architects and engineers. She's now the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
Mohammed started her career working on the design of health, education and public sector buildings.
She then moved into the public sector, rising to the position of adviser to four successive Presidents in Nigeria on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development.
She was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016
In this role, she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.
Prior to this, she'd served as Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning. Her work resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainability has been a common thread throughout Mohammed's career, along with gender equality
She's served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative and Girl Effect.
Mohammed also coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education for the UN Millennium Project from 2002-2005.
One Lioness To Another
“I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her skin.”