Whisper today pledged to reach out and extend the impact of its flagship ‘Mother Daughter Menstrual Health & Hygiene Program’ to 5 Crore girls by the end of 2022.
As part of its commitment to increase menstrual hygiene in the country, Whisper will reach out to more than 40,000 schools across India. The pledge was made by Whisper at the ‘Need to Break Silence and Build Awareness’ event organized by ASSOCHAM to mark the occasion of ‘World Menstrual Hygiene Day’. Till last year, Whisper’s Mother Daughter Menstrual Health & Hygiene Program has already educated more than 2.5 crore girls about menstrual hygiene, since its inception in 1995.
Vandana Gurnani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare was the Chief Guest at the event, which was also attended by Padma Shri awardee, classical dancer and activist, Geeta Chandran and Foroogh Foyouzat from UNICEF India among other senior representatives from the government, industry and social organizations working towards menstrual hygiene education.
Suman and Sneha, whose true story about a quiet revolution against the stigma of menstruation was featured in the Oscar winning documentary, ‘Period: End of Sentence’, were also present at the event as special guests.
Chetna Soni, Associate Director & Country Leader, Feminine Care, P&G said, “As an industry, our focus should be to increase awareness and adoption of good quality and safe menstrual hygiene. Our pledge to extend the reach of our Menstrual Health & Hygiene Program to educate over 5 crore adolescent girls about menstrual hygiene by 2022 is in line with this vision. We invite relevant stakeholders across the board – government, social institutions and corporates – to come together and partner with us on this initiative.”
Chetna also highlighted the importance of tackling period taboos head-on. “Till date, we continue to fight taboos and societal restrictions relating to periods, that girls face and lend our voice to empower them to be unstoppable, even during their periods. The conversations that we witness on periods, that appear so obvious today, were a huge challenge not so long ago. A monumental change has taken shape, starting with Whisper’s Cannes Glass Lion Winning campaign – Whisper ‘Touch the Pickle’ in 2014, where we first encouraged & enabled women to talk about and confront period taboos in society.”
Whisper began the journey to normalize menstruation about 3 decades back; it was the first brand to show a sanitary pad, and the first to mention the word ‘periods’ in advertising. At that time, when the brand wanted to advertise on prime time, TV channels thought it was an inappropriate product to advertise. Whisper then got special permission, in order to be the first sanitary pad brand to advertise on prime time Indian Television.