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Akshara- A Global Initiative

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Menstruation - a stigmatized topic and a social taboo- has led to a lack of menstrual hygiene awareness and improper practices impacting women’s health adversely over generations in India. Akshara

Menstruation - a stigmatized topic and a social taboo- has led to a lack of menstrual hygiene awareness and improper practices impacting women’s health adversely over generations in India. Akshara aims to increase menstrual hygiene education and reduce stigma in India. A creative children’s illustrated book, and interactive workshop curriculum about menstruation were designed and published in Hindi and English. Menstrual hygiene workshops, utilizing the designed tools, were conducted in Delhi and Ghaziabad, India to over 230 students through NGO partnerships in December 2018. The response to the menstrual hygiene and stigma workshops was overwhelmingly positive, and a significant increase in the knowledge and awareness survey scores was observed after the curriculum teachings and classroom discussions. This evaluation highlights and provides a potential solution path to eradicate the root cause of the menstruation stigma in underprivileged women through education and open conversations on the topic starting at a pivotal young age. The main aim of the workshop was to help eradicate the stigma associated with menstruation and menstrual health in India through education.

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  • 2019-05

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Hygiene Stigma and the Objectification of Women in Fiji

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Hygiene stigma can exist in tandem to gender stigma which could mean the marginalization of certain groups due to stigmatized identities, specifically women. The marginalization of women is important because

Hygiene stigma can exist in tandem to gender stigma which could mean the marginalization of certain groups due to stigmatized identities, specifically women. The marginalization of women is important because of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Empowering women and girls and achieving equity. Figuring out how hygiene stigma specifically affects women in Fiji required researching the effects of hygiene stigma, gender inequity and indigenous Fijian societies could influence respondents’ answers. After researching these different topics, these questions were developed: does hygiene stigma and gendered stigma have an overlap? If so, are men more biased than women when it comes to objectifying women? Do indigenous Fijian societies possess an immunity to objectifying women since are considered to have Fijian women have more agency? The data was retrieved from the Global Ethnohydrology Study from 2015-16 in the Viti Levu, Fiji, which was specifically researching whether hygiene stigma is an effective method of helping people have better hygiene norms. A thematic analysis was then conducted, and the data was coded. Based on the results from 28 respondents we were able to conclude that there is gendered stigma within Fijian populations. We found that both men and women objectified women at similar rates and Fiji is not immune to hygiene stigma. The limitations to this analysis were there was no statistical analysis to find correlations hygiene stigma and gendered stigma. There was only one specific code that was being analyzed in this research project which limits the other types of stigma that may exist.

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  • 2019-05