Changing Menstrual Narratives in Kashmir

From Silence to Empowerment: Changing Menstrual Narratives in Kashmir

Pinkishe Foundation


A Journey Begins in Kashmir's Heart

Taeid's story starts in the scenic yet conservative backdrop of the rural areas in Kashmir. As a student at Kashmir University, she wasn't just immersed in her studies; she was deeply involved in her community, particularly with the younger generation. Taeid's interactions with schoolgirls weren't just out of obligation; they stemmed from a heartfelt commitment to improve their lives. She knew these girls faced unique challenges, especially regarding menstruation, a subject shrouded in myths and silence in their society. This understanding sparked a desire in Taeid to change the narrative, to bring light to a topic kept in the dark.

The Moment of Revelation: Meeting Sakina

During an initiative with her student body, Taeid visited the Government Girls Middle School in Natipora. Amidst the youthful buzz, one girl, Sakina, sat in solitude, her demeanor reflecting deep distress. Approaching Sakina, Taeid sensed her fear and apprehension. With gentle persuasion, Taeid led Sakina to a more private setting, creating a space of trust and understanding. Here, Sakina poured out her heart, revealing her struggles with her menstrual cycle, marked by pain, confusion, and a profound sense of shame imposed by societal taboos. This encounter was a poignant illustration of the struggles many young girls in Kashmir faced in silence.

Taeid's Call to Action: Mobilizing Support

Deeply moved by Sakina's story, Taeid knew she needed to act. She began by sharing Sakina's plight with her university friends, sparking discussions about the dire need for menstrual education in Kashmir. The gravity of the situation resonated with her peers, and together, they explored ways to bring about meaningful change. It was during these conversations that one of Taeid's friends mentioned Pinkishe Foundation, an organization known for its significant work in menstrual health and hygiene. Inspired by the potential for collaboration, Taeid decided to reach out to Pinkishe, setting the stage for a partnership that could transform menstrual health education in Kashmir.

Pinkishe Foundation: Joining Forces for Change

Upon contacting Pinkishe Foundation, Taeid found a receptive and supportive ally. Pinkishe, with its commitment to menstrual health and hygiene management across India, provided Taeid with the necessary training and resources to become a knowledgeable menstrual health educator. This partnership marked a pivotal moment in the quest to address the menstrual health challenges faced by the girls in Kashmir.

Spreading Wings of Awareness

Armed with training and support from Pinkishe, Taeid returned to Natipora's school, now equipped to make a real difference. She initiated workshops that went beyond basic education; they were about dismantling the taboos surrounding menstruation. Covering topics from menstrual hygiene to the use of sanitary products, Taeid transformed these sessions into platforms of empowerment and open discussion, encouraging the girls to embrace and understand their menstrual health with pride and confidence.

Conclusion: Seeds of Change Sown 

Taeid's effort and partnership with Pinkishe Foundation has sown seeds of change in the landscape of menstrual health education in Kashmir. While it's a gradual process, the impact is evident. Sakina, once shrouded in silence, is now more open and informed about her menstrual health. Her transformation is a hope for many other girls in her school and beyond. Taeid's story, fueled by Sakina's journey, is a testament to the power of education and collaboration in breaking down barriers and nurturing a more informed and empowered generation of young women in Kashmir. This movement, one conversation at a time, is steadily paving the way towards a more understanding and supportive environment for menstrual health.

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