A new campaign called Anti-Shame Week (ASW16) has come to Temple. The campaign was designed to eradicate the stigma that girls across the world feel when it comes to their periods.
Maya Minhas, 20, SMC ’19, decided to bring the campaign to the university after witnessing this experience firsthand. “[I] had the opportunity to travel to parts of rural India and Guatemala to volunteer,” Minhas said. “I was exposed to the lifestyles of young girls in developing countries and began to see the struggles they have on a daily basis. So it wasn’t long before I began questioning what they did during their periods.”
In collaboration with NYC’s THINX and Tribe Media, Minhas developed an online campaign in 2015 that saw great success. Working with Creative Director Ellie Richardson, Minhas decided to expand the campaign, and bring it a little closer to home.
Minhas says Anti-Shame Week is a campaign that “raises global awareness of menstrual health and many related social issues.” ASW will have series of gender inclusive events which she believes will help increase awareness for social taboos.
“The Menstruation Workshop is a really unique way to get more about health, the science of periods, and the vast effects stigmatizing menstruation has on different social groups.”
The Empowering Girls workshop, which takes place on Thursday, April 21, will be a discussion on self- empowerment. “[The workshop] is a great opportunity to empower yourself, and network while hearing about the importance of gender equality, entrepreneurship, and global citizenship in the professional world.”
“The art show is a more creative event where you can see work from varying perspectives on a range of social issues, you’re also able to have fun and be in a comfortable environment where often ignored conversations can be had.”
Minhas believes change can start with a single person, and an easy way to get involved is to create more conversation. “Simply changing your personal mentality towards periods can also have a huge chain reaction. Confidence is attractive so why not be confident about [your] periods.”
With a total of four events over the week, Minhas hopes to bring awareness to the social issues that cause individuals to feel ashamed of who they are and their body. “We are working to make changes that signify the importance of human equality and empower one another,” Minhas said. “I aspire to help create a world where gender equality is our reality and periods, and many other stigmas, can be talked about.”
Not only will this campaign take place at Temple, but it will also be occurring overseas in London. The hope is that these events will facilitate more discussion about body empowerment. “Whether that begins with one student, Temple’s campus, or throughout the world, my goal is to create positive change,” Minhas said. “If this campaign can change the way one person thinks about periods, or his or her own body, that’s amazing.”
More details on the events can be found here.