Think It's Just India? Menstrual Taboos Stain The West Too

Pardon the irony, but it's no secret that menstruation is a big secret in India. Not only do women have to find creative ways to hide this 'shame' from men, but the lack of education and information on this issue means that girls starting puberty often do not know why they menstruate. Women of India: be surprised to know that some of these issues are not unique to India -- menstruation is also a taboo in the West.

Sanitary products are taxed in the UK (it's dubbed the "tampon tax") like any luxury item, despite the fact that the government's healthcare service (NHS) provides free contraception and flat-fee medication which is free for the most vulnerable. This is based on the idea that no-one should fall below a certain standard. Yet there is no state provision for even the poorest menstruating women, and homeless women have to rely on charities to meet sanitary needs. The issue is not just at the top, it is deep-rooted in social attitudes -- such as a refusal to discuss this issue -- which then influence policy and taxation.

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Hindu Lawyers Association celebrates Sita's Diwali with Binti Period and Pink Ladoo

The Hindu Lawyers Association broke new ground on 24 November 2016 by celebrating Sita’s Diwali, supporting the interests of women in law and society.

The issue of gender inequality in the legal profession is particularly highlighted by reviewing statistics at entry level whereby over 50% of solicitors are female with a gradual decrease of female representation at each stage of promotion. It is generally considered that statistics do not show the overall picture of a situation however raise a big question as to what needs to be done for women to be promoted to senior management level. This event was organised to open up the conversation on this matter hearing the stories of some of the leading female Hindu lawyers in the profession.

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16th Asian Achievers Awards

It was a gloomy and rainy Friday. But nobody could wet the spirit of 800+ guests who gathered at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in park Lane, to celebrate the glamorous 16th Asian Achievers Awards. Celebrities and guests walked down the red carpet as ushers in fancy attires waited to welcome everybody in. 

The success of the night was underlined with the incredible £180,000 raised for charity partner Indian Ocean Disaster Relief,which was founded in early 2005 following the devastating tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. In its 16 years, the Asian Achievers Awards has helped to raise millions of pounds for various charities it has supported.

Winners of the awards included, Selva Pankaj , CEO Regent Group, a London-based education skills and training development group ; Manjit Gill, CEO Binti, who runs a social enterprise that works tirelessly for women's causes in India and AfricaParalympian, Ryan Raghoo, a long jumper who suffers from cerebral palsy; and Lord Naren Patel KT who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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International Day of The Girl

Today on International Day of the Girl, we celebrate the women and girls who inspire us to be better versions of ourselves.

MariaClaire.co.uk 

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There are 1.1 billion girls in the world today brimming with talent and creativity, a powerful force for shaping a world that’s better for everyone. But so often their dreams and potential are stunted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities.

Today is International Day of the Girl – a UN initiative that aims to highlight the realities of life as a girl across the globe and promote the rights of girls everywhere.

To celebrate a whole day dedicated to making girls and women’s lives better, we asked the Marie Claire team about the female trailblazers who inspire them to be better versions of themselves. Here’s what they said.

Oprah Winfrey. She has built a global brand around spreading her mantra of living your best life, no matter who you are, and is a great example of someone who has the ultimate mix of drive combined with compassion.

Miranda McMinn, Deputy Editor

Malala Yousafzai, for her courage and fearlessness in the pursuit of universal education for girls. She remains stubbornly committed to driving positive change without bitterness despite almost losing her own life just for speaking out.  Truly inspiring.

Andrea Thompson, Features Director

 JK Rowling, for creating the extraordinary world I spent my teens totally immersed in, before redistributing so much of the money she made to charity that she slipped off the billionaire list. Also, for providing a consistently right-on world view about pretty much anything on Twitter.

Lucy Pavia, Entertainment Editor

The late, great Sue Lloyd-Roberts who, throughout her thirty year career as a journalist, reported from some of the world’s most dangerous corners – from Syria to China – to expose human rights abuses. A wonderful storyteller and an utterly fearless woman’s woman.

Tracy Ramsden, Features Editor

Bobbi Brown for believing in herself and starting her own make-up brand with the $5000 USD she had in her bank account. The same billion dollar make-up brand that focusses on giving back to women through charities such as The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women and Girls, which raises funds to support programs that provide them with education, job skills and work experience. Oh and she managed to do all of this while raising three children.

Natalie Lukaitis, Digital Beauty Editor

 Zianna Oliphant – the nine-year-old #blacklivesmatter activist who gave a powerful speech at a city council meeting (that went viral) about growing up black in North Carolina. 

Sophie Davis, Deputy Head Of Production

 ‘Yeonmi Park, for her courageous work as a human rights activist and for sharing her story about escaping North Korea. Her memoir is one of the most powerful books I have ever read.’

Lucy Abbersteen, Digital Editorial Assistant

Emma Thompson, because she is unashamedly very loud and very outspoken on women’s issues, perfectly summed up when she said: ‘What I feel is that we all need to speak up and a woman who has got a louder voice needs to shout very loudly indeed.’

Holly Rains, Digital Deputy Editor

 Manjit K. Gill, CEO of Binti. For dedicating her life to the game-changing creation of Binti: an empowering social enterprise that dispels the negative myths and taboos around periods in India and Africa, aiming to provide sanitary towels to all girls and women as a basic right.

Jenny Proudfoot, Features Assistant

Erin Pizzey, for setting up the first ever women’s shelter and dedicating her life to protecting vulnerable women even when she was faced with eviction, abuse and arrest.

Georgie Lane-Godfrey, Freelance Writer

 Stella McCartney for sticking to her ethical principles on animal rights in the fashion industry.

Gillian Brett, Acting Digital fashion editor

Katie Piper, for her courage in speaking out and helping others who have suffered burns disfigurements.

Claire Hearn, Chief Sub Editor

 My sister. For being a role model, unbelievably strong and everything a sister should be.

Abbie-Joelle Skliarsky, Beauty Assistant

Launching a new project in Gurgaon, India

Binti UK is delighted to announce the launch of a new project in Gurgaon, India. The project will be managed by approximately 15 entrepreneurial local women who will be responsible for producing enough sanitary towels for 8,000 women and girls a month. We are determined to be changing the lives of girls one day at a time. Period.

Binti Partnership with AWSAR India 

Binti and AWSAR India announce a new partnership that will focus on achieving core social impact goals of providing sanitary pads and improving menstrual dignity within India.

Binti will be developing and implementing a sustainable social enterprise model as well as fundraising options for the projects in the communities. It will be implementing its bespoke mindful menstruation education programme.

AWSAR India will be providing valuable community outreach to ensure the success of the projects.

“Anything that we can do to keep these girls in school today, is a benefit to the society and women of tomorrow.” says Mark Courtney COO of Binti UK.

Tara Chand, Founder of AWSAR India, says: “We are excited about this partnership as it allows us to leverage Binti UK's knowledge of running a sustainable business to further our cause of empowering women in India. We are confident that Binti UK's advocacy and fund raising experience will go a long way in helping us deliver better outcomes in our social initiatives.”

Creating affordable sanitary towels, awareness through education and the availability of sanitary protection for every woman. These are the changes that Binti would like to bring to the remote villages of India.
— Manjit K Gill CEO, Binti PERIOD LLP