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Girls & Women

Tampons vs. Mooncups rap battle–plus why period taboos hold girls back

Well, I’ll probably be singing about tampons and periods for a while thanks to this video. But I’m ok with that. In this video, two women rap battle as a tampon and a Mooncup (known as a DivaCup in the US) in a club bathroom–and it’s fantastic.

It’s great to have an advertisement out there that doesn’t just sell tampons, mooncups, sanitary napkins (my least favorite term) as some mysterious flowery product. This rap battle puts into perspective real issues that women consider when it comes to their period–empowering women to manage and take control of their periods.

In developing countries around the world, a woman’s menstruation cycle can limit education employment, and social opportunities. And periods are often associated with shame. In Kenya, an average of 20 percent of girls miss school because they are not properly equipped to manage their period. In Iran, there is a myth that women cannot shower when they have their period. In India, women are considered unclean and cannot cook during menstruation cycles. In Nepal, and Bangladesh women are not allowed in temples for the same reason. Because of these stigmas women neglect to manage their periods, which can cause serious damage to women’s health, especially cervical damage.

Even in developed countries, stigmas and social taboos still exist. These taboos are an obstacle for progress on women’s health and empowerment. For many homeless women, getting their period is one of the hardest experiences because shelters often forget to provide products to manage periods, or donors consider them too pricey.

Plus this video even addresses environmental factors! Check out 1:25 to find out how many tampons end up in landfills each year.

In addition to Mooncup, there are other companies and NGOs working to eliminate the taboo and shame associated with menstruation and empower girls so that no girl is held back from equal opportunities because of her period. Here are a few ways to invest in girls related to periods.

1. Build toilets and sanitation in schools

tampons va mooncup-b1.jpgGirls toilets at a secondary school in Ugunja in Kenya.
Image: Flickr: SuSanA Secretariat

By building and toilets and proper sanitation for girls in school, girls will not have to go home to manage periods. This can help decrease rates of dropping out, or lower attendance for girls in developing countries.

2. Provide sanitary material for girls to use during their period

tampons vs mooncups b2.jpgMaybe this knitted creature wouldn't be the most helpful..
Image: Flickr: Jen Squidhead

This can be underwear, mooncups, tampons, sanitary pads, etc. There are many unique ways to manage bleeding during menstruation. Providing these products to girls that cannot afford or do not have access to sanitary materials.

3. Break the taboo around menstruation (it's less scary if you talk about it-yes guys, even for you to talk about)

tampons vs mooncup b3.jpgImage: Flickr: UK Department for International Development

Talk about it! Supporting NGOs that teach girls how to manage their periods in addition to creating a social dialogue where menstruation is not a feared topic or associated with shame is key to empowering girls and women around the world.

So I hope you don’t mind having this catchy rap battle stuck in your head for the rest of the day either.

And while your singing it, you can do more than just talk about you, you can step up and support the rights of girls and women by signing the petition in TAKE ACTION NOW.