Menstruation is a topic that affects all people worldwide, regardless of culture, religion, society, country or sometimes gender. If half of the world’s population bleeds monthly, why does it often feel so lonely, uncomfortable or even embarrassing?

Menstruation as a social taboo

The way we talk about menstruation has a direct influence on how we as a society think about it. Menstruation is seen as something very private, intimate and personal. There are rarely open discussions about what periods really mean for menstruating people and their bodies. Because menstruation is still socially a taboo, which brings shame with it. This leads us to learn to consciously hide menstruation. However, monthly bleeding is a natural and biological process that represents the origin of all life and can therefore be an expression of femininity. If every menstruating person bleeds for about 3000 days in their life, why isn’t it really talked about in the media or politics then?

And sometimes talking is golden after all

We need to break the silence and start talking internationally and openly about menstruation. We must stop perceiving periods as repulsive and accept it as what it really is: a natural, regular biological process that symbolizes the health and fertility of a menstruating person. In this context, social norms must be gently challenged through education so that menstruation can find its place in the public and the menstruating body is celebrated. We at Vulvani want to raise and celebrate the voices of all. For us, the pursuit of a more open approach to menstruation goes hand in hand with the fight for equal rights and the participation of all in public debates.

Forms of social discrimination

Menstruating people are still sometimes socially discriminated against because of their monthly bleeding. Depending on the country and society in which they live, this can come in various forms, ranging from a taboo of silence to deliberate exclusion from public life. Some children miss school because of their period and adults are not allowed to go to work. Reasons for this can be cultural beliefs towards menstrual blood as impure, lack of money for menstrual products or lack of sanitary facilities in public places. The monthly period thus leads to systematic discrimination against menstruating people worldwide. This can lead to people being denied basic human rights that are directly related to menstruation. This includes, for example, the right to education, health or sanitation. However, femaleness and the related menstruation can not stand between a menstruating person and their rights and goals. Our goal at Vulvani is that every person can experience their menstruation safely, with dignity and, above all, without shame or discrimination.