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‘No period shame’: (Watch) Bontle Modiselle candidly shares her horror menstruation story – every woman can relate to

South African dancer and TV presenter Bontle Modiselle candidly discussed - with a group of school girls - her share of 'period shame' back in school when she ran out of pads and had to grapple for a tissue, "rolled it up and tried to supplement it with something else" to use as a makeshift pad.

Dancer and TV Presenter Bontle Modiselle spoke for every young woman – especially those menstruating for the first time – when she candidly shared her ‘nightmare’ with menstruation back in her school days when she had run out of pads but the shame and stigma around menstruation prevented her from confiding in her teacher or fellow learners and ask for help.

Around the world, wider discussions are being heard around how period taboos and stigma – such as the idea that menstruating women are impure and dirty, or sinful – can be psychologically damaging for many girls – and what can be done to prepare (and educate) young people for this important natural chapter of their life.

Watch as Bontle Modiselle gets vulnerable and share her most embarrassing period story with the audience – and a group of school girls – at the launch of P&G #BloodSister Network as part of the global Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrations.

Multinational consumer goods company P&G is among the main drivers of change pertaining to this important cause in South Africa and across the continent through the Always Keeping Girls in School initiative which encourages open discussion around menstrual hygiene management among others.

Modiselle, a passionate ambassador of the movement joined a panel of speakers – including P&G communications manager Cassie Jaganyi and market strategist Clarissa Harris – at the Johannesburg launch of the #BloodSister Network as they unpacked the taboo nature of menstruation as well as ways to put a stop to it.

As heard on the video clip above, the discussions weren’t only centred on the negative impact of period misinformation, but also the lack of access to sanitary products for millions of vulnerable young women who have to revert to using unhygienic cloths or tissue paper – and even grass in some extreme cases – in order to deal with their monthly periods, making them susceptible to infection and disease.

Modiselle goes on to highlight the need for more safe spaces such as this – for young men and women to openly talk about periods and puberty, as well the importance of having celebrities champion important causes they can relate to; “because it’s important for the boys to have these conversations due to the misunderstanding they can have in understanding menstrual hygiene and how they’re able to support their sisters, mothers, cousins and the ladies in their lives”.

Editor's Desk
Editor's Desk
Curated by editor-in-chief, Tankiso Komane, this special collection of articles from the Editor's Desk unpacks topics of the day, including commentary, in-depth analysis and partner content.
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