Whisper, India’s leading feminine care brand has come together with UNESCO in a breakthrough partnership to raise awareness and educate girls on Menstrual Hygiene Management under its flagship programme #KeepGirlsInSchool. In an effort to help young girls achieve their full potential, the movement begins with shedding light on the impact of 2.3 crore girls dropping out of school – leading to 2.3 crore unfulfilled dreams – due to lack of period education and protection.
Bhumi Pednekar, a strong believer in empowering young girls, continues to be a part of the movement, championing the cause of making menstrual hygiene a priority in India. Studies have shown that even today, 71% of adolescent girls in India remain unaware of menstruation till they get their first period. This affects their confidence and self-esteem adversely, leading to 2.3 crore adolescent girls dropping out of school every year, at the onset of the puberty.
In addition to this, the ongoing pandemic has led to the closure of schools and lack of structured learning process, making these girls even more vulnerable to dropping out. According to the UNESCO, the global pandemic has impacted 74 crore* schoolgirls, and could severely affect their return to school. Whisper and UNESCO believe that when supported with education, these young girls are empowered to reach their full potential, achieve their dreams and make a positive difference in the world as strong women.
Last year, Whisper launched the #KeepGirlsInSchool movement, mobilizing support across touchpoints which impacted over 40 Lakh school girls and drove awareness among 2.5 crore people in India. To bring to light the struggles of young girls as they reach puberty, Whisper and UNESCO released a heartwarming film that illustrates the journey of the playful innocence of a schoolgirl with boundless dreams coming to a grinding halt due to the lack of period education and protection. The film underscores the importance of empowering young girls to achieve their full potential and not let periods get in the way of 2.3 crore dreams.
The campaign seeks to drive a positive change through the collective efforts of multi-stakeholder initiatives and influential voices to ensure that every girl can complete her school education and fulfill her dreams. It urges people to be the agents of change and join the movement by making a mindful choice as every purchase of Whisper pads helps #KeepGirlsInSchool.
Continuing to share her support for the cause, Bhumi Pednekar said, “For the past one year I have been working closely with Whisper to drive awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene education and protection. This gave me an understanding of the on-ground reality of crores of girls who drop out of school and unfortunately give up on their dreams of becoming a pilot, doctor, teacher, designer, etc. Every girl in India should be able to complete her education like I did and not have to drop out just because of periods. I strongly believe that empowering young girls with menstrual education andprotection will give them wings to transform into leaders of tomorrow. It is great to see that Whisper and UNESCO are enabling this change at a ground level, which will not only accelerate the cause but also encourage wider participation. I urge everyone to come forward and be part of the #KeepGirlsInSchool movement.”
Emphasizing UNESCO’s commitment to right to Education, Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, said, “During puberty and the start of menstruation, a girl’s confidence and self-esteem can be affected in many different ways, sometimes even leading to her dropping out of school. UNESCO and Whisper are on a mission to change that. The #KeepGirlsInSchool initiative builds on our strong commitment to ensuring everyone’s fundamental right to education. Investing in girls’ education is an investment for society as a whole.”
Sharing her thoughts on the movement, Chetna Soni, Senior Director & Category Head, P&G Indian Subcontinent, Feminine Care, said, “Whisper believes in empowering girls and women to unleash their confidence and ensure that nothing comes in the way of achieving their dreams. With this mission, we continue to challenge the barriers surrounding menstrual hygiene through education and multi- stakeholder engagement to advocate for change. To widen the impact, we are delighted to be joining hands with UNESCO to further our force for female good movement #KeepGirlsInSchool. We strongly believe that we all have a role to play in breaking menstrual stigma and normalizing periods so nothing can come in the way of girls fulfilling their dreams and achieving their full potential.”
Chetna further added, “Since the past 30 years Whisper has worked at the grassroots level to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene. We’ve educated more than 4 crore girls on periods and their hygienic management through our Mother Daughter menstrual hygiene awareness program. We are committed to empowering girls with puberty education and quality protection and pledge to impact another 2.5 crore girls over the next three years.”
Whisper, hand-in-hand with UNESCO, stands strong as a force for female good to improve the lives of young girls and achieve 100% menstrual hygiene adoption in India. To raise awareness on the importance of period education, Whisper is also rallying a nationwide movement to include menstrual hygiene education as part of school curriculum. Every girl in school is a step towards empowering her to achieve her dreams.
1 out of 5 girls drop out of school forever due to lack of period products & education. For every 1 pack of Whisper Ultra Clean, Ultra Soft Airfresh, Bindazzz Nights sold in the month of 1st Feb- 8th Mar 2021, Whisper will provide menstrual hygiene education and pads to 1 girl. For more details visit https://whisper.co.in/en-in/school-education