Stop the Shame

By the time they get their first period, over 50% of Afghan girls have never heard the term zan marizi, “a woman’s illness.” Under shame and secrecy, many avoid bathing for fear of infertility and even more are ostracized due to stigma during menstruation.

A new program by the Ministry of Education and Unicef educates young girls (and boys!) on facts and fallacies of menstruation. “The idea is to normalize the conversation around periods,” says MoE’s Mohammad Akbar Omarkhil.

The effort has been embraced countrywide though challenges remain in areas under Taliban influence where religious leaders question talk around a “shameful” subject.


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