Campaign India Team
May 17, 2024

Whisper unveils new phase of #KeepGirlsInSchool to tackle early menstruation awareness

The latest poignant film seeks to normalise periods as healthy changes, empowering young girls to reshape their narratives around puberty.

Whisper, a leading feminine-care brand from Procter & Gamble, is raising awareness about the early onset of menstruation among young girls through its fifth edition of the #KeepGirlsInSchool (KGIS) movement. With girls beginning to menstruate as early as eight years old, the need for awareness and education is more crucial than ever. The initiative aims to address the potential dropout of 26 million girls from school due to inadequate period education and lack of access to sanitary products.

In a new film, Whisper portrays young eight-year-old girls who are unaware of menstruation and misconstrue a friend’s bleeding as something dire. The film seeks to normalise this natural biological change by educating young girls with a catchy jingle that conveys, "Periods mean you are healthy" (periods ka matlab healthy hai aap).

Research indicates that one in five girls may drop out of school due to insufficient period education and access to sanitary products. Reports suggest that with menstruation starting at a younger age in India, timely menstrual hygiene education could significantly reduce absenteeism and dropout rates.

To date, Whisper’s #KeepGirlsinSchool program has educated over 100 million schoolgirls and mothers about menstrual health and provided free sanitary pads to girls.

Whisper continues to lead efforts across India to educate girls about menstrual hygiene, dispel myths and taboos about periods, and decrease dropout rates due to inadequate information and access to period products.

Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe—South Asia and chairman of Leo Burnett – South Asia, shared insights on the evolving dialogue around menstruation: "Our ongoing research shows that girls are experiencing menstruation earlier than previous generations but are often educated about it much later, if at all. Whisper and Leo Burnett have long committed to keeping girls in school, and we aim to bridge this gap. Our latest campaign reaches out to eight-year-olds in a language they understand, with a heartwarming song that educates them about menstruation in a positive light. The goal extends beyond teaching the girls; it’s about equipping their entire support system—parents and educators—to handle the topic in an empowering way."

Campaign’s take: The latest iteration of Whisper's #KeepGirlsInSchool campaign poignantly addresses the early onset of menstruation among young girls. It's deeply emotional and touching to see this topic normalised in such a warm, brave manner, especially in a society where many have grown up without this kind of support, facing stigma instead. Witnessing these young girls navigating the complexities of girlhood—a journey often marred by social pressures and body image concerns—reminds us of the crucial role education plays in transforming perspectives. This campaign strikes the perfect chord, serving as a reminder that it is the responsibility of adults to ensure that children feel safe and supported, not the other way around. It's an absolute gem that moves and inspires.

Yes, it's advertising for a product, but sometimes brands accomplish what other social mechanisms cannot—reaching the masses. Raising awareness among young girls in India is critical, and this ongoing program is dedicated to that mission. Ensuring the availability of affordable period products is equally vital. Many villages in India either lack access to these products or cannot afford them, leading to unhygienic practices among young girls and women. Programs that provide sanitary products for free or at a minimal cost could significantly transform menstrual hygiene management across the country—and any efforts here are valiant, welcome, and long overdue.

Source:
Campaign India

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