No woman can forget the moment she got her first period. It’s an experience that will be etched in our minds forever. Even for the most prepared of us, it can be a jarring experience. There are all these new emotions bubbling up, your hormones are all over the place and it’s just not a really fun time. But just imagine how difficult this situation must be when you live in a society where menstruation is a huge taboo?
Menstrual hygiene isn’t really talked about in a majority of the communities here and girls are completely confined to their houses. There is a lack of basic awareness, to the point where it completely disrupts a girl’s lifestyle. More than a million girls in Pakistan have had to miss out on school due to their periods, making that almost 1 in every 3 girls. Unfortunately, they have no choice but to stay at home and eventually drop out of school altogether.
Today, many of us have lots of resources at our disposal to help us get through our period comfortably – resources we don’t even think twice about. Innovation has led to the invention of pads, tampons, menstrual cups and so many more sanitary products that are all aimed at making our lives easier. But imagine a world without any of that.
A recent study revealed that many girls cut cotton pieces from their clothes to use as sanitary napkins. And they wash them and reuse them. Due to the fear of stains – and the ridicule that comes with them – they just drop out of school. Can you imagine washing a piece of cloth with the same frequency as changing a pad? It seems so archaic but it’s a reality for a lot of girls who don’t have any other options. It’s what has been done in their families for generations; they don’t know anything else but this.
But there is a silver lining of hope. Always Pakistan has been committed to making menstruation as comfortable as possible for a long time and with their new campaign, they’re making sure girls around the country are free from the shackles of menstruation. #AlwaysAzad is focused on ensuring that young girls get to be young girls and chase their dreams. They have pledged to donate a pack of pads for every ‘#AlwaysAzad’ comment they receive on social media. Watch their inspiring campaign video below:
The campaign is already blowing up on social media, with prominent celebrities such as Mahira Khan, Iqra Aziz, Ayesha Omar and others posting about the campaign on their social feeds.
There’s not always much we can do to help those around us. But with this campaign, Always has proven that even in difficult times, you can always find a way to help someone out. To be a part of this movement, all you have to do is post the comment “#AlwaysAzad” on the above social media posts. No one should be forced to give up their dreams and it is up to us to make sure we do our part in liberating and empowering girls all over Pakistan.
Thank you, Always, for setting such a great example for the rest of us!