Recently we had a visit from Federica and Elisa of Lunethica, an organisation based in Italy that hosts workshops on how to use menstrual cups and the benefits of this menstrual product for people and the planet.
Their visit was part of a month-long trip through southern India to research how women and girls experience and manage menstruation; their goal is to create a photographic reportage of their learnings, called ‘Once in a Moon’. In the coming years they hope to travel to other countries around the world to document what it is like for menstruating women and girls in those countries too!
The message they hope to share is that though we have different cultures around the world menstruation is a topic that concerns everyone and something we all have in common. Federica and Elisa hope to create an exchange between their home community, the communities that visit in India, and women and girls around the world. So far they have been exploring organizations in South India that work with women on menstrual hygiene and broader issues, Temples that honor the feminine, and also traditional dances that have deep feminine aspects. At each stop they hope to have natural conversations with women about how they experience menstruation in their lives.
During their visit at Eco Femme, Federica and Elisa attended 2 Pad For Pad sessions with our Eco Femmes, Harishini and Ilana at local high schools and distributed care packages containing soap, underwear and a Lunethica wristband. They also visited Chennai, Pondicherry, Madurai, Munar and Kerala on their travels.
Federica and Elisa shared that in Italy, most women (and men) are heavily inundated with tv advertising which suggests that women need to be ‘free’ from their periods; they have a very negative tone and suggest that menstruation is a secret that limits women. In reality, they said, women would like to talk about it and share their experiences. Lunethica thus also works to challenge the idea that menstruation is dirty, common among women and men, in Italy.
In September they plan to start a new project in Italy to offer reusable menstrual products to female prisoners; they will try out menstrual cups and Eco Femme washable cloth pads.
They also shared that now there are about 40 different menstrual cup brands (!) and they provided lots of comparisons and information about the different brands so that women and girls can chose one that best suits them. To learn more about Lunethica, check out their website (which they hope to have an English version of in September!).