2015 saw the launch of the GIZ staff initiative MenstruAction. Staff from different sectors including education, health, gender and WASH got together to spread a positive message about menstruation health and hygiene. The influencer campaigns are only one aspect of this. Special events, campaigns and cooperation within and outside GIZ all aim to mainstream the issue in the company and in the public perception.
Menstruation: let’s talk!
Menstruation is still a taboo subject. GIZ is working with local influencers to change this. Girls and women around the world should be able to experience menstruation in a healthy way.
In addition to Nepal, Albania and the Philippines now have influencers who are advancing the topic of menstruation in the media. For example, Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015, stars in a video for the Department of Education’s TV channel – a joint campaign between GIZ, UNICEF and Save the Children Philippines – to educate young girls and boys. She is also supporting the Fit for School campaign – almost 500,000 people have already seen her video message on Instagram.
In Albania, well-known TV presenter Fatma Haxhialiu is fronting a similar campaign. In the first few months following its launch, 1.5 million people watched the videos on social media. Fatma Haxhialiu also talked about #LetsTalkPERIOD on several major TV and radio shows – an impressive achievement in a country with a total population of almost three million.
Male role models
An important next step is to get more men involved. As role models for boys and men, the idea is that they make it easier to talk openly and tackle prejudices. Inspired by #NepalsMenstrualMovement, successful singer Prakash Saput joined forces with Keki Adhikari and posted a music video on his YouTube channel. In the video, he powerfully describes the stigmatisation that girls face during menstruation. Since it was uploaded in December 2022, 2.8 million people have watched the video.
In the Philippines, a cooperation with influencer couple Kathleen Paton (Miss Eco International 2022) and Kirk Bondad (Mister World Philippines 2022) launched in 2023. And what about Keki Adhikari? She continues to use her voice and platform to support girls and women, most recently in a short film with fellow actor Dayahang Rai on the Menstruation Bracelet.
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