Simavi Rutgers Women On Wings Dutch



You drop your bag and before you know it, your tampons roll across the floor for everyone to see. Do you feel ashamed?
Maybe not, but if so, you will be surprised of how many women are still ashamed of their menstruation. Even in the Netherlands we do not always talk about it openly. We hide our tampons or sanitary napkins, secretly go to the toilet and pretend nothing is wrong. While your period is the most normal thing in the world.

If in a progressive society like ours there is so much shame about something that every woman goes through, you can probably imagine how big the challenge for women in developing countries must be. The taboo surrounding menstruation has serious consequences for the lives and development of these women.

Help us to end this taboo and continue reading!


To be ashamed of

  • You lose an average of 4 tablespoons of blood per menstruation. Can you imagine not having access to sanitary napkins or tampons?
  • In India, many girls and women use grass, dried leaves, rags, newspapers, ash or sand because they do not have access to sanitary napkins or tampons.

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This is how we break the taboo in India

With the Making Periods Normal program, WomenOnWings, Rutgers and Simavi ensure that 660,000 girls and women in the countryside in India can continue their daily activities during their menstrual week.

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Take action!

On May 28, during Menstrual Hygiene Day, Simavi, Rutgers and WomenOnWings will create awareness about the situation of women in developing countries.
Because only by being open about menstruation we will break the worldwide taboo and we go beyond shame.

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To be ashamed of

  • Eating gherkins during your period, is that allowed?
  • Leave your room during your period, is that allowed?
  • Washing yourself during your period, is that allowed?

Odd questions?

Not for girls living in India. Shame and lack of knowledge about menstruation has serious consequences for their health and development. Superstition makes sure that they can not determine what they eat during that one week. That is why it is so important to educate girls and women in developing countries about what menstruation is and how they can deal with it in a healthy way.

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Making Periods Normal

Results in 3 year time

  • 660.000 girls and women know how to deal with their menstruation healthily and hygienically
  • Nearly 300,000 boys and men were immediately informed about menstruation
  • 815 women were trained to sell sanitary napkins and to inform other women about hygiene during their menstruation

If you want to know more about this project, check out the interesting, fun and touching stories of the girls and women that we have spoken with.

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#beyondshame in India

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On the 28th of May, during Menstrual Hygiene Day, Simavi, Rutgers and WomenOnWings will pay attention to the situation of these women. Because only by being open about menstruation we will break the worldwide taboo and go beyond shame.

What are you ashamed of?

Take action!

By talking openly and boldly about it

On the 28th of May, World Menstrual Hygiene Day, we go beyond shame. We try to break the worldwide taboo surrounding menstruation. What are you ashamed off? Share your story with #beyondshame and have a chance of winning the exclusive emergency Tampon Necklace from designer Katarina Hornwall!

Share your voice like Dorine

Do you recognize this too?
"What I felt that morning was not nice, but something most Indonesian girls and women have unfortunately got used to. Embarrassment and exclusion because of menstruation is completely internalized in Indonesian society. This should change." - Dorine Thomissen

Share your story, just like Dorine. Or take a selfie with red lipstick on, share it with your friends by using #beyondshame and support girls and women in developing countries during their menstruation. Only when we stand up and speak about menstruation, we can break the taboo worldwide and go #beyondshame.

Read the blog of Dorine

The campaign #beyondshame and the Making Periods Normal program were made possible thanks to the amazing support from National Postcode Lottery.

For more information about this campaign, mail to:

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