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25th Feb 2019

A movie about periods just bagged an Oscar and we’re only delighted!

Louise Carroll

‘A period should end a sentence. Not a girls education.’

That’s the key message from the Netflix documentary Period. End of Sentence. that just won a glorious Oscar last night. (Hurrah!)

The film depicts women in Hapur, India and their struggles surrounding menstruation, whether that be talking about it, learning about it or, unfortunately, trying to hide it.

Even with over half of the world’s population having periods, there’s a huge stigma around them in many parts of the world. Women are even banned from temples if on their period, they’re considered dirty and many leave school as young girls as it’s common, and considered safer, to be married as soon as a period arrives.

The documentary shows how these stigmas and societal norms can be broken and that no amount of help we can give is too small.

What started with a group of high school students in Los Angeles, their teacher Melissa Berton (pictured in blue) and a little help in the right direction, amazing things happened.

The group reached out to an organisation that paired them with another in India and soon, women in Hapur would be learning to make pads (many having never heard of them or having felt to embarrassed to buy them) and educating those around them, including men.

Last night, among the glitz and glam, Period. End of Sentence. won the award for Best Short Documentary. Director Rayka Zehtabchi’s speech was gas, beginning with;

“I’m not crying because I’m on my period. I can’t believe a movie about menstruation just won an Oscar!”

For the women in India, it’s proving to be life changing. Having been provided with a machine with which they can make sanitary pads (made by a man in India called Arunachalam Muruganantham — a hero of our time), they have been able to afford to educate themselves, family, and move into different lines of work that once upon a time they could only dream of.

Word is also spreading to different villages too with plenty eager to continue this great work.

So ladies, if you want to help anyone, remember, a little idea goes a LONG way. It might even go to the Oscars!