Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) celebrated on 28 May, was initiated by International NGO WASH United in 2014 to break the silence about menstruation & encourage conversations to normalize it. It raises awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management (MHM), catalyses' advocacy & highlights solutions that help achieve good MHM for all women and girls, both globally & at country level.
The global theme of MH Day in 2018 was empowerment of women & girls (through good menstrual hygiene) #NoMoreLimits. The theme is the heart of the communication, country & global level, the campaign content & the annual slogan is focused on the annual theme, complemented by focused communication about MHM.
The overarching (long term) goal of the campaign is to create an environment to
empower women and girls so they can manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with dignity & without stigma.
MH Day 2018 India campaign does this through;
- Awareness campaign on social media to reach millennial audiences & media engagement to break the silence around MHM and increase conversations on menstruation.
- Adoption of our global hashtag #NoMoreLimits by influential voices, organizations & popular media participating in the event.
- Direct participants to act & support WASH United's targeted advocacy to initiate Government action on MHM in India.
Menstruation is a lonely process for women & girls, yet how one reacts to their period is affected by one's socialization & environment.
Our research led to the discovery that it's important to address not just the girls & women, but also the external stakeholders & environment around the girl; to ensure she can talk about her periods, ask questions, seek answers, live comfortable without stigma & grow up to be more confident.
Taking forward the annual theme of empowering women & girls, our strategy centered on developing a 'confident girl'. The campaign messaging focused on changing attitudes & perceptions of young girls & boys, external stakeholders, media & people in general.
The desired shift in attitude was: 'Silent' to 'Vocal' - Break the silence around menstruation & make it loud & clear not just for the girl but also the people around her like her parents, friends, relatives, colleagues etc.
In the audience's journey with the campaign, it was critical to provide a space for women & girls; as well as men & boys to share their personal stories in order to encourage audiences to take action by signing a petition.
To achieve this we focused the communication on positive, solution-oriented messaging which are warm, entertaining & inspirational. Original content was created focusing the desired shift in attitude. GIFs, animated short videos and illustrative posts with heartwarming stories & millennial-centric formats like 'being woke' were created around these shifts. The campaign culminated with a high decibel music video featuring the first female rap & hip-hop artist in India - Dee MC aka Deepa. This resulted in creating a space that was warm & welcoming to anyone who wished to learn more, get inspired, share their stories & take action.
Additionally, we worked with popular new-age content publishers to adopt our strategy & use the shift in attitude to create unique content for their communities, furthering reach & amplifying the campaign's intent to change perceptions of the society and EMPOWER women & girls through knowledge, support & a space to share concerns, triumphs, challenges & victories.
The social media campaign reached over 13 million people in India.
54 million recorded impressions in India.
Hashtag #NoMoreLimits trended for a good 6.30hrs on Twitter in India, & generated 5,380 conversations on MH Day owing to wide spread adoption of the hashtag by popular media, organizations working in the MHM sector, influential voices of creators & celebrities, as well as our audience.
Over 75 'personal stories' in the form of articles were shared by girls, women & some men proving that silence about menstruation can be broken.
Music video got 1.90 million views, 1,500 shares & over 350 comments in Facebook within 4 days around MH Day.
The call to action of the campaign was to make 'education about menstrual hygiene compulsory in schools'. We are happy to share that our change.org hosted petition has already been signed by over 34,000 people & continues to grow.
The result of the campaign shows the power of positive communication along with amplification through partnerships. With limited resources, the campaign leveraged the strength & reach of new age content publishers & organizations working on menstrual hygiene management to reach a large audience.