Fierce

She free-bled a marathon and still isn’t done fighting for period awareness

Kiran Gandhi running in the 2015 London Marathon. (Photo via madamegandhi Instagram)

First she ran the 2015 London Marathon while free bleeding, putting an exclamation mark on period awareness. Now activist and musician Kiran Gandhi is encouraging other women to “shake shit up” when it comes to shame around menstruation.

Speaking at the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen last week, Gandhi noted numbers of girls around the world who drop out of school rather than go to class bleeding, and who are reduced to using leaves and plastic to deal with their monthly flows.

“There are so many hugely problematic ramifications of period stigma that I want everyone to talk about it,” Gandhi told the Cut. “I want us to confront better ways in rural India, in rural parts of Africa, to get the products they need to feel safe on their period.”

The former drummer for M.I.A., Gandhi has an EP coming out later this year and has been writing lyrics about her experience with the marathon and speaking about gender equality around the world.

Gandhi also wants to tackle these problems closer to home as well: “The same is true in the Global North. I want to live in a world where a 14-year-old doesn’t feel embarrassed or awkward about having her period, and having to be afraid to go to the nurse’s office to ask for a pad. I want it to be as simple as asking for a tissue if you were to sneeze in the classroom.”

Read the full story at The Cut.

Related:

Kiran Gandhi discusses free-bleeding while running the London Marathon, and using the period as protest 

NYC period pop-up shop fights stigma around menstruation

“Free-bleeding” women protest tampon tax in front of U.K. Parliament

Despite ban, 2 women complete Iran’s first international marathon

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