Introducing and directing agendas in the policy sphere is a challenging task. Additionally, when the agenda in question is pushed to the margins with shame, stigma, and taboo, the pursuit becomes ever more demanding. Menstruation is one such topic repressed by societal norms of the global south, the stigma of which causes detrimental effects on the lives of innumerable individuals. How does one advocate for that?
In this episode, Khushi and Jesselina discuss the challenges in pursuing policy solutions to issues of access to a dignified period. Jesselina shares the unexpected hurdles in advocating for menstrual rights and the importance of strategy, collaboration, and sustainability in it. They explore barriers to accessing menstrual health and dignity, their deep impacts, and recount national issues like the Period Tax and the state of periods in prison. They also discuss the evolution of a dignified period in the realm of human rights, the different ways it has expanded, and how the conversation can be taken forward.
Jesselina Rana is a human rights lawyer, social entrepreneur, and feminist activist. A Harvard Law School graduate, Jesselina co-founded Pad2Go, a social enterprise focusing on menstrual health in Nepal, in 2018. Since its inception, Pad2Go has garnered national and international recognition for its impactful contributions to the menstrual health landscape in Nepal. Jesselina’s passion for feminism, human rights, and the law has driven her to contribute to both human rights and politico-legal discourse in Nepal and internationally.