Adult education and seminars
Eco Femme’s ultimate goal is large scale environmental and social transformation. This means there are two goals to our educational work:
1) To deconstruct ingrained cultural conditioning that leads to the degradation of women and the earth, and to help shift toward a worldview that is honouring of all life.
2) To help empower women as change agents, by providing information and ways for them to reconnect to their embodied knowledge and voice.
In recent years, as Eco Femme’s work has spread and we have been participating in the global conversations around menstruation, we have observed an emerging global trend in which the topic of menstruation is becoming mainstream. Because of our location and ability to engage with women and girls “on the ground” in a rural Indian context while living in the international township of Auroville with access to extensive global networks and different worldviews, we find ourselves uniquely situated to be responsive to these trends and can therefore offer an approach to menstrual health education that is sensitive to local grassroots realities and at the same time cognizant of emerging global trends.
In September 2016 Eco Femme offered its first workshop Beyond Menstrual Hygiene Management: Exploring new frontiers for menstrual educators and activists. This 2 day workshop brought together years of action research into the question “what does it mean to address menstruation in a holistic way?”
The peer learning workshop combined presentations and experiential sessions designed to widen the lens to include aspects that are typically left out of the mainstream menstrual hygiene management approach – namely
- awareness and respect for the earth/environment,
- awareness that the menstrual experience transcends a merely biological process (with the primary focus on managing the bleeding time) i.e. that this is a cyclical process and an integral part of a girl and woman’s whole life
- Recognition that there are deeper layers of personal and collective meaning which are typically overlaid with patriarchal imprints which may inhibit a fully accepting and healthy relationship to what it means to be an embodied girl or woman.
Participants included diverse women who have connected to our work either as educators, product ambassadors, and/or activists who were ready to inquire into the deeper layers of cultural meaning and significance of the menstrual experience in this time of ecological crisis and feminine awakening.
“The workshop was far away from what I thought it would be from how a ‘typical workshop’ is like where we just talk about different topics learn and leave. But you guys broke the norm and these two days proved to be a place which was designed in a way that touched all of us at different levels. The dedication and process out of which it emerged was felt by all of us. I personally felt closer to myself at a revering level and also with women are around me, It was spiritual, it was humane and of all it was about all of us. And I am really grateful to you all and the entire team of Eco- Femme for giving such a warm rich and overwhelming experience.”
In April 2017 Eco Femme hosted its second workshop “Empowering educational ambassadors” This 3 day workshop provided a space for a deeper immersion into the work of Eco Femme and how our goals of personal and social transformation are translated through our educational work with women and girls and communities across different settings and contexts.
The workshop provided a powerful space for peer to peer learning and to nurture the emerging network of women across India who advocate for sustainable menstruation and aspire for a transformed worldview in which menstruation is honoured and becomes free of stigma and shame.
”I appreciated the togetherness and love that we hold for a cause beyond ourselves. Coming together in a space facilitated by Eco Femme to share and inspire is a wonderful initiative towards going forward in the work”
Workshop formats are emerging in response to expressed needs from our growing network of ambassadors for more “knowledge” and to connect with other activists and educators working in this space. Workshops balance skill and knowledge sharing while giving space to explore among peers our motivation as to why this work is important, how it is directly connected to who we are as women, and to situate this work in a wider global context of deeper cultural trends that are stirring in regard to how the feminine and the earth are being related to in this challenging time of ecological crisis. Sustainable menstruation becomes the trojan horse through which we can all feel empowered to find and express our unique voices that want to speak on behalf of the earth and the feminine!
If you would like to join an upcoming workshop please contact us at [email protected]