Menstruation, although a healthy and fundamental bodily process, is a subject often buried in fear and shame, and its discussion is even taboo in many societies. .
Essays, artwork, stories and poems by policymakers, entrepreneurs, artists, academics and activists, as well as interviews with marginalists, for example such as the homeless and those living with disabilities, explore the myriad aspects of how menstruation is experienced in South Asia.
While activist Granaz Baloch recounts how she defied traditional notions of tribal honor and conducted her first menstrual wellness workshop in Balochistan, Radha Paudel writes of her mission. is for menstrual dignity to be recognized as a human right in Nepal. Shashi Tharoor restated his radical Menstrual Rights Bill as outlined in the Lok Sabha.
We heard Erum talk about the challenges of menstruating while incarcerated, as Farzana and Chandan told how mimicking menstrual rituals helped them feel more feminine.
New Tishani Doshibreaks with a poem about her womb. Ayra Indrias Patras describes how some poor women in Pakistan manage their periods during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aditi Gupta reflects on promoting menstrual literacy among young children across India through menstrual comic books. In a personal essay, Lisa Ray revealed how her illness triggered early menopause.
The book also introduces menstrala, or menstrual-inspired art, from Rupi Kaur’s iconic photo essay, Anish Kapoor’s oil paintings, Shahzia Sikander’s neo-miniature art, and hanging paintings. walls by young people in Jharkhand, to embroidery by Sarah Naqvi. Amna Mawaz Khan gives a perspective through the choreography of her menstrual dance.
The cover, designed by Sukruti Anah Staneley, contains menstrala artwork by Lyla FreeChild, who drew her own menstrual blood for the painting. The finished painting is part of the art section of the book.
A collection of breathtaking scope and significance, Period Matters illustrates with power, purpose and creativity both the differences and commonalities of menstruation.
Farah Ahamed’s essays and short novels have been published in anthologies and journals including The White Review, Plowshares, The Massachusetts ‘Review, and The Mechanics’ Institute Review. Her short story “Hot Mango Chutney Sauce” was shortlisted for the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Award.