Features Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 27, 2015 | 7.00 pm IST Students of the Ernakulam Maharaja’s college in Kerala have been sticking scores of sanitary napkins on walls, pillars and trees across the campus over the past few days. This is part of a campaign they launched on Wednesday under the leadership of Student Federation of India (SFI). Called ‘Gender Justice’, the campaign was started in solidarity with the “Pads Against Sexism” campaign, which began in Germany and was later picked up by students of Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi. However, unlike the “Pads Against Sexism” campaign which conveys messages against sexism, Gender Justice is trying to spread awareness about a volley of other related issues as well. “What we want to say through this campaign is “period blood is not impure, it is natural”. Men, women and the third gender should have equal rights and freedom. We also want the end of rape culture,” SFI district president Swathy S tells The News Minute. Since its inception hundreds of sanitary napkins messages written or printed over them have been stuck on campus. The messages written on the napkins include statements like "period blood is not impure, your thoughts are", “India is the only place where girls are told not to get raped, whereas boys are never told not to rape,” and “a transgender is as normal as you and me.” Through the campaign, the students also question the taboo related to menstruation “which have been created by religions and caste based institutions.” “The message is clear and direct—to remove the stigma attached to periods, to remove prejudices people have against transgenders. The messages on the sanitary pads are about sexism in everyday life and how rape culture affects people in our country. It is an enlightening campaign and here napkins are our most effective tool to protest," says Nazil, an organiser of Gender Justice and SFI college chairman. Nazil also feels that many women themselves consider menstruation a taboo and that once they start thinking otherwise, they too will be able to influence others. The protesters also ask the society not to be passive anymore about rape culture and accept gender equality. SFI activists announced that the campaign will continue with the same spirit till they can change at least the mentality of the students in the college. Photo Courtesy : SFI Maharajas Facebook page Read : Why some Jamia Milia students are sticking sanitary pads on Delhi walls Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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