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Period Party 2024: Periods and Policies

A safe-space gathering of young people in Nepal to discuss policy concerns surrounding access to menstrual health products and facilities for menstruating individuals in Nepal.

We are thrilled to bring back the 'Period Party' after a brief hiatus! This time around, we took things up a notch with deeper conversations and a more diverse mix of voices. Experts from various backgrounds all came together to shed light on crucial topics like periods in prison, the role of men in menstruation, and the need for fair menstrual leave policies. All topics include ground and policy level work that Pad2Go is continuously advocating for in Nepal. 

These discussions aren't just informative—they were eye-opening. We had passionate individuals sharing their experiences, challenging stereotypes, and advocating for change. One of the key take-aways was that all our unique menstrual experiences demand dignity, equity, respect and recognition. Our mission with this revitalized 'Period Party' goes beyond talk; it's about sparking action and policy reform. We aim to create a world where every menstruating individual feels supported and valued, regardless of gender or background.


Panel 1: Navigating Periods in Prisons

Panelists: 1. Bhim Raj Koirala (Former Jail Administrative staff of Kaski Jail)

2. Rojina KC (Representative of Prisoners’ Assistance Nepal) Moderator: Jesselina Rana, Co-founder Pad2Go

Key Takeaways: Existing Challenges:

  • Sanitary Pad Access: Despite having 18 washrooms for 487 women, access to sanitary pads is insufficient, leading to health risks from using cloth. Enforcing existing laws mandating the provision of sanitary products in prisons is crucial.

  • Education and Awareness: There's a lack of menstrual health education, resulting in low usage of reusable pads and improper disposal practices. Initiatives should focus on educating incarcerated women about menstrual cup usage, proper pad disposal, and menstrual hygiene importance.

Good Practices and way forward:

  • Pad2Go’s pilot project in Kaski Jail in Gandaki Province involved the placement of a sanitary pad vending machine. This effort has brought to light that the need to improve access to sanitary products should not be seen in  isolation but rather as part of a broader strategy to address the interconnected issues of health, dignity, and human rights for women in prison.

  • Gandaki Province's budget now allocates funds for providing sanitary pads to women in prison. 

  • To enhance menstrual health in prison settings, emphasis should be placed on collaborative learning and knowledge-sharing, fostering sustainable and community-driven solutions rather than relying solely on charity-based approaches.

Panel 2: Menstrual Leave Policy in Nepal

Panelists: 1. Mamita Shrestha (Previous Human Resources Head at Leapfrog)

2. Samon Chhetri (Representative of Unity for Change- a Transmen led organizations) Moderator: Jesselina Rana, Co-founder Pad2Go

Key Takeaways:

Existing Challenges

  • Masculine workplace norms and implicit biases hinder the acceptance and implementation of menstrual health policies, requiring a cultural shift towards inclusivity.

  •  Despite recognition of menstrual health's importance, menstrual leave policy existence and implementation in workplaces remains inconsistent in Nepal, reflecting gaps in both infrastructure and societal attitudes.

  • Current policies on menstrual leave often overlook the needs of transgender men who menstruate, leading to inequitable support and consideration in the workplace.

Good practices and Way forward:

  • Incorporating menstrual health considerations into workplace policies through legal reforms and inclusive language recognition fosters equity and acceptance.

  • Guideline development on managing menstruation in the workspace promotes understanding and support, enhancing overall well-being and productivity.

  • Organizations must initiate open dialogue platforms to understand employees' menstrual health needs, facilitating ongoing policy adaptation and evaluation.

Open-discussion on Men and Menstruation with Parakram SJB Rana

Networking and menstrual experience sharing: a photo report

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