A handful of students at Pakistan's Beaconhouse National University in Lahore are fighting against period shaming by painting red spots on their clothes and covering a campus wall with dozens of sanitary pads featuring menstruation facts and slogans.
Student Mavera Rahim told the Express Tribune that the statement they made on April 7 and 8 was part of a class project to protest against the "stigma attached to menstruation and sharmindagi [shame] with which we discuss it."
(Mic reached out to Rahim and several other students.)
Period shaming can be more than just humiliating; it can be dangerous. Women who don't learn about feminine hygiene can contract a horrifying slew of infections and diseases. Social stigma forces millions of girls across Asia and Africa to drop out of school altogether or miss class during their periods, putting them at a severe disadvantage compared to their male classmates.
Studies cited by the BBC estimate around 1 in 5 girls in nearby India dropped out because of their monthly cycles.
In some rural regions of Nepal, United Nations reports reveal up to 95% of women are cast out during their periods because of a custom called Chhaupadi, where menstruating women can be denied shelter, adequate food and water, even access to bathrooms or basic sanitation.
These students in Lahore are promoting a crucial conversation — on Twitter, of course — that resonates beyond borders. Many students are also stigmatized or feel awkward about their periods across the U.S. (and in Australia and Mexico...). It shouldn't exactly require plastering the walls with pads for people to realize that's wrong.