Period Fellowship: Towards Menstrual Justice in Pakistan

Final project
Year of publication:


People who menstruate in Pakistan are submerged in the menstrual stigma and negative social and gender norms surrounding them. The stigma results in menstruators experiencing menstruation negatively and in privacy with an element of shame. This impacts their ability to seek help when needed and prevents them from making informed choices about their health and well-being. Menstruators are prohibited to attend school and participate in other everyday activities, which leads to isolation. Negative menstrual norms also impact the ability and right of menstruators to make free choices about their participation in social, economic, and public life. In Pakistan, menstruation exposes adolescent girls to a risk of school dropout, early marriage, gender-based and sexual violence, unintended teen pregnancies and violation of their human rights. This oppression, also known as menstrual injustice, takes them further away from the realisation of gender equality and human rights.

Previous interventions in the country focus on one or two of the problems without taking a holistic approach towards menstrual health. Menstruators face a range of multi-dimensional and multi-faceted issues that require collaborative multi-sectoral solutions. A holistic and transformative approach is required to attain complete menstrual justice where menstruators can access timely and accurate information about menstruation and self-care; have access to menstrual materials, supplies, facilities, and services to manage their menstruation; can seek healthcare, diagnosis, and treatment when needed; are surrounded by positive environment and have freedom to participate in all spheres of life.

We believe multisectoral local leaders are uniquely positioned to address these issues in a systematic manner at all socio-ecological levels through education, research, advocacy, innovation, and policy. Therefore, the Period Fellowship aims to develop and strengthen skills of local leaders to start a movement to attain menstrual justice and equity in Pakistan.

Period Fellowship is an immersive leadership journey designed to nurture future leaders in the menstrual health and human rights ecosystem to reduce gender inequality and achieve menstrual justice in Pakistan. The fellows become champions of change and menstrual health leaders in their communities and across the country. They work closely with HER Pakistan to shatter menstrual stigma and challenge gender inequalities through a blend of education, advocacy, and community-based initiatives along with service delivery, policy work and social movements the local and national levels – thus influencing long-lasting and sustainable positive change for menstruators in their communities and across the country.