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Netflix Documentary ‘Period. End of Sentence.’ Rejects Period-Shaming

The Netflix original Period. End of Sentence. opens with a group of young girls quietly gathered around each other. They pass shy smiles between them, each one laughing nervously and hiding their eyes from the camera. The conversation they’re afraid to have is one that seems so normal; one that every girl must have as she gets older. They’re afraid to talk about their periods.

Period. End of Sentence. is a short Netflix documentary that follows a group of Indian women in the Hapur district as they operate a small, sanitary pad production facility out of an old home. Determined to increase access to these products, they use low-cost machines to make pads that absorb more than commercial pads, as demonstrated in the film.

This documentary is a single component in a larger movement to increase access to feminine hygiene products for Indian women. The film was intended to raise awareness for The Pad Project, an organization that funds these low-cost machines and the proper source materials.

They seek to sell others the highest-quality, most affordable sanitary pad possible. Locals interviewed in the film said they knew about pads from TV and store shelves, but could never afford them and therefore did not know how to use them. Women and young girls resort to unsafe methods of keeping clean, often using old cloth rags or leaves.

Along with quality and affordability, the women are considerate of the stigma that stops women from buying sanitary pads in public. Men are everywhere –– whether they be store owners or shoppers –– and their presence is a source of discomfort among women on the search for feminine hygiene products. To make it easier and more convenient, the group of women spend their days walking around and knocking on doors. They also hold gatherings, where they teach women how to use the pads and what its benefits are.

Young women don’t have access to proper, affordable products because no one wants to talk about it. No one wants to talk about menstruation, unless to publicize shame.

Period-shaming is dangerously prevalent in the country. Women are considered impure while menstruating –– a belief that stems from sacred Hindu text regarding it a manifestation of guilt and sin.

In 2017, it was reported that 70 schoolgirls were forced to strip naked after their warden found specks of blood in the school bathroom. Later that same year, a 12-year-old girl committed suicide after being forced to show a period stain to her entire class.

Period. End of Sentence. rejects the idea that women on their periods should be shamed. Their work with The Pad Project not only helps increase access to sanitary products, but encourages women to embrace their womanhood.

Featured Image by sikunrelief on Flickr.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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