Period. End of Sentence. (2018)

Earlier this year, I watched PadMan, an Indian featuring film focusing telling the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the Indian man who invented the machine to make cheaper sanitary pads for women. Netflix's short documentary Period. End of Sentence. deals with the same subject, which still is one of the most taboo topics in India.

Set in the rural village of Hapur, outside of Delhi, India, the documentary follows a group of women as they band together to install and use sanitary pad-making machines in hope to make feminine hygiene supplies easily available to all women as only 10 percent of women in India, as stated as the beginning, have access to affordable sanitary products.

Why is that so? The reasons are many, probably the most important being the lack of information. As I said above, menstruation is one of the most taboo topics in India, nobody talks about it, not even a mother with her daughter or the other way around —which is crazy because the first thing I did after watching this was talking with my mother about it. Young men don't even know what exactly menstruation is —one describes it as some sort of illness that mostly strikes women— and young girls feel too embarrassed to talk about it. Women menstruating are seen as "dirty", they can't even enter the temple during their time of the month —their prayers wouldn't be heard anyway, say the men, which is crazy considering it's a goddess they pray to.

The other major reason is economic. If you are a woman, you know how expensive pads, tampons and other feminine hygiene products are. If to that, you add the fact that most of these women are forced to drop out of school as soon as they begin menstruating as there's no way for them to change their dirty cloth since men are everywhere, they therefore have very little career prospect, and become brides and mothers, it's difficult if not impossible for them to buy these products.

Although I was aware of this already, I found Period. End of Sentence to be an interesting, compelling documentary that does a really good job at showing the taboo surrounding menstruation and highlighting the work a group of students from Oakwood High School in Los Angeles, California and Girls Learn International, a Feminist Majority Foundation who banded together and started The Pad Project, which not only is aiming to inform women of the dangers of using dirty cloths, but to give these women more freedom as making pads themselves give them the chance to generate an income.

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