In support of International Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May, FemmeProjects is breaking the silence or taboos around the subject of menstruation with their latest campaign Cycles.
“It’s time to debunk the myths, to speak clearly and proudly about our cycles,” says the campaign that features notable creatives such as Sherlin Barends of KFM, Palesa Kgasane of Elle magazine and revered South African actress Denise Newman.
“Cycles, in a nutshell, is a campaign to tell menstruating people that it is okay to talk about it; that it is okay to ask questions and seek answers and that is okay to own body, your reproductive system, your sexuality and your life,” according to the NGO, which provides comprehensive sexual education and has worked with more than 4 000 learners from under-resourced schools in the Western Cape, as well as has provided mentorship to high schools located in urban and rural areas.
This new campaign also provides a platform for individuals to share their menstrual experiences and gives mentors the opportunity to share their advice with young people who are coming of age.
“We have learnt that parents and adults often refuse to talk about sexuality with children because they fear that they will encourage ‘sinful’ behaviour. In fact, we should be encouraging engagement on this subject so that our children are informed and with this information they have agency over their sexual and reproductive health,” says FemmeProjects co-founder Kim Windvogel.
FemmeProjects will also be working with artists and designers who will be creating art and products that are connected to the menstrual cycle for the campaign, with all proceeds going to the FemmeProjects’ Cycles fund. Artist Lady Skollie, also part of the campaign, has designed an exclusive t-shirt for this campaign that celebrates the vulva.