Did you know…
68% of Palestinian girls referred to their mothers as the main source of information about menstrual periods. As beautiful as this matriarchal tradition is, it means that often times mis-information is passed down through generations. Often women do not have all the facts or even some incorrect facts about their bodies, resulting in uncertainty as to how to take care of their bodies.
Source of Girls' Reproductive & Menstrual Education
According to Human Rights Watch…
Women and girls struggle with access to pads and other supplies, safe toilet facilities, and discriminatory cultural norms or practices which make it difficult to maintain menstrual hygiene. This is results in many women and girls being denied basic human rights.
We believe in pushing this even further…
This project doesn't stop at knowing about your body. Perhaps even more importantly, it's about challenging the stigma surrounding menstruation and womanhood which subjugate women and girls to places of inferiority in our societies. We work to challenge the idea that menstruation makes women unclean, untouchable, unworthy, and inferior.
We believe in celebrating girls because of their bodies not in-spite of them. We don't aim to simply educate girls; we aim to empower them. This is why we have structured our Menstrual Education Campaign (MEC) the way that we have.
What is the MEC?
BabyFist’s Menstrual Education Campaign is a project aiming to expand young girls’ access to menstrual education to in public schools throughout the West Bank. in 2018, we hosted 2 workshops and educated 150 girls. In each workshop, the girls receive preliminary supplies such as pads. They also engage in activities to challenge the taboos about menstruation, sexuality, and womanhood.
Why is this necessary?
Menstrual and sex education is currently missing from the curriculum in public schools. This means that unless their parents educate them, young girls grow up with little or incorrect knowledge about their bodies and their sexuality. It also results in a taboo around the issue which stigmatizes womanhood, makes women feel ashamed of their bodies.
We have organized a grassroots workshop for menstruation and sexuality to be held in public schools. The workshop is led by local Palestinian women including a doctor, pharmacist, and visual artist. The funding for these workshops comes through an online crowd-funding campaign.
In 2019, we are aiming to host this workshop with 1000 fifth and sixth grade school girls. The workshop will include biological education about menstruation/sexuality and artistic education to de-stigmatize womanhood.
The workshop is designed to educate about the body and de-stigmatize menstruation:
the doctor presents about the biological reasoning for the period and the bodily changes which occur with puberty. She presents it in a positive light in which the process is not only natural but beautiful.
an artistic activity is held in which the girls draw how they see themselves. Some examples of previous drawings include mothers, flowers, and mosques.
a final activity is held in which the girls interact with the reality that they can do and be anything
The Cost Breakdown
Per workshop: 1500 NIS (430 USD)
Total for 2019: 15,000 NIS (4,300 USD
What are the funds for?
Baggies for pads
We are raising money not only make this campaign a reality but to make it as successful and impactful as possible. For those looking to donate, please click the button below. Please consider sharing this campaign so it reaches that many more people. Change comes when entire communities (even those spread across the globe) mobilize around a common issue.
Take a behind-the-scenes look at our Menstrual Education workshop in action! Held in April 2019, we worked with seventy 5th and 6th grade school girls. Check it out:
With the conviction that radical honesty and vulnerability bring change, BabyFist gets real about our periods to challenge the taboos affecting the way we as women and girls value ourselves. Give it a watch: