Prioritising period education will ensure more girls stay in school: Bhumi Pednekar

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Bhumi Pednekar (Photo: IANS)

By Puja Gupta

New Delhi– Prioritising period education and protection is the key to ensuring more and more girls continue to stay in school, says Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar.

The actress has been actively participating in the nationwide movement #KeepGirlsInSchool campaign by Whisper, in collaboration with UNESCO. The campaign aims to help keep 90 lakh girls in school and was mobilised to raise awareness and impact young girls, reaching over 5.5 crore people.

Almost 10 lakh people supported Whisper’s petition to integrate a period and puberty education module in school curriculum, which is currently being developed in partnership with UNESCO.

Sharing her excitement on having a positive impact on girls’ future, Bhumi Pednekar said,”Having closely worked with Whisper and UNESCO for their #KeepGirlsInSchool movement, I have personally seen how confident young girls are once they understand periods and how to manage them. Being a part of this change and seeing them rediscover their confidence and zeal is quite overwhelming. It took me back to my adolescent years that were filled with dreams and ambition that education empowered me to achieve. Reaching over 5.5 crore people and helping keep 90 lakh girls in school to fulfill their dreams is extraordinary. Prioritising period education and protection is the key to ensuring more and more girls continue to stay in school. It was inspirational to see how, together, we can help shape the foundational years of our future generations.”

Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, said,”Managing menstruation with safety, dignity and comfort is essential to ensure gender equality, good health, quality education, and related human rights. In order to achieve these goals, it is imperative that all children and young people have access to age-appropriate comprehensive puberty education and a supportive environment at home and in schools. UNESCO and Whisper are committed to work with the education sector, civil society and other partners to ensure that everyone has access to puberty education and menstrual hygiene management resources. I am positive that the impact we have seen through the #KeepGirlsInSchool movement will only grow multifold in our partnership with Whisper.”

Chetna Soni, Category Leader — Feminine Care, P&G Indian sub-continent, on the success of the campaign said,”Economic emancipation of women starts with education. Whisper, being a force for female good, is committed to ensuring that all girls can confidently go to school even during their periods and continue pursuing their dreams. #KeepGirlsInSchool started as a campaign to drive awareness about the issue of girls dropping out of school at puberty, and stop girls from giving up on a life full of possibilities that education can unlock for them. It is heart-warming to see that it has transformed into a national movement for girl child education and empowerment. We are a brand that puts purpose at the heart of its functioning and that has resonated with the citizens of India. Our aim is to enable this change at a grassroot level, which is why we are working with UNESCO to integrate our period education module as part of school curriculum. We need to work together to change what periods represent to many — from shame to strength and pride; and we are proud to be leading this change.” (IANS)

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