'Girls can do just as much as boys': groups that empower young women

Binti: ‘It has become easy for me to educate girls and boys about menstruation. Everywhere I go I #smashshame’

“Some people believe that there is no shame around periods in the UK,” says Manjit Gill, chief executive and founder of Binti. “Some of those who move here from south Asia bring the taboos of their countries with them. We have heard from girls who miss their sister’s wedding because they cannot participate in a religious ceremony while menstruating, or from others who are not allowed to cook or sit with the rest of the family.”

Binti aims to educate girls about menstruation and teach them that it is not something to be ashamed of. “We try to promote menstrual dignity here and across the world, as well as providing sanitary protection to those who need it.” 

Since 27-year-old Londoner Jaipreet Kaur’s involvement, she has realised the importance of properly educating young girls about menstruation. “We need to make sure that women are empowered and comfortable with talking about it in all situations. It’s also made me more comfortable talking about it with people I know – especially men. It’s really important that both women and men work together to stop this.”

Nomcebo Mkhali.

Nomcebo Mkhali.

For 42-year-old Nomcebo Mkhali from Swaziland, Binti has changed her life completely. “When I look back to where I was and where I am now, it’s unbelievable. Binti has made a huge impact in my life as well as to many others in trying to promote menstrual dignity and access to sanitary protection. Yes, some still view menstruation as a taboo but to those that Binti has reached its a whole new world. 

“It has become easy for me to educate girls and boys about menstruation whether at schools, at home, or at community events. Everywhere I go I #smashshame. Today I stand tall that I bleed and am normal and healthy because of the help I received from Binti.”

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/10/girls-groups-empower-young-women-readers-stories