Breaking the menstruation taboo

Petra Salarić

Petra designed a card game to bring up the topic of menstruation and encourage discussion in Indian families.

There is an existing taboo around menstruation in India, which affects women’s well-being in many ways – from education, economy, health, religion to various personal aspects. Currently, there are many activities taking place in India to improve the situation around menstruation – from government activities and plans, providing sanitary pads in rural areas, organising awareness sessions in schools, to famous actors using the media to spread awareness on these issues. However, there is a need for a change in the mindset and behaviour of the society to accept the efforts made.

The research for this project was conducted in India in order to get closer to the problem and to understand the context. The field research included interviews with various experts in the field and 9 different families to understand how people behave in their homes and how conversations are held around the issue. The research showed that pre-menstrual girls are not informed about the issue until they get their first period, which causes them shock, fear and anxiety. Men are often excluded from the discussion about menstruation, while the discussion is often between the girl and her mother.

Petra designed a card game called Mix-A-Body-Match. The aim is to create fun pairs of cards that don’t require any prior knowledge of the topic, so that both premenstrual girls and male family members can participate. The game comes with a booklet that explains the rules and provides information on puberty and menstruation for the family to learn more. The game aims to normalise menstruation by presenting it as part of puberty and a normal aspect of growing up. It acts as an icebreaker and creates a positive atmosphere in the home through laughter.

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