Meghan Markle has penned a hard-hitting piece about the importance of breaking down the stigma surrounding periods in India.
The Suits actress, who is currently in a relationship with Prince Harry, published How Periods Affect Potential in Time magazine after learning about the dire situation faced by Indian women and girls during a trip to Delhi earlier this year. She travelled to the country in her role as a global ambassador for humanitarian aid organisation World Vision.
Girls are dropping out of school
“During my time in the field, many girls shared that they feel embarrassed to go to school during their periods, ill-equipped with rags instead of pads, unable to participate in sports and without bathrooms available to care for themselves, they often opt to drop out of school entirely,” she wrote.
“As a female in India, the challenge of survival begins at birth, first overcoming female feticide, then being victim to malnourishment, potentially abuse, and lack of access to proper sanitation facilities.
“Beyond India, in communities all over the globe, young girls’ potential is being squandered because we are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world.”
The responsibility lies with us
Markle rounded off her article by calling on women, and men, to “push the conversation” around periods.
“Mobilise policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organisations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation,” she wrote.
“When we empower girls hungry for education, we cultivate women who are emboldened to effect change within their communities and globally. If that is our dream for them, then the promise of it must begin with us.”
Campaigning for women’s rights
Markle is developing a reputation as a human and women’s rights campaigner. She is active on Instagram, where she often shares empowering posts such as this, posted on International Women’s Day:
Markle’s blossoming romance with Harry has predictably been making headlines since he officially confirmed their relationship in a statement condemning her harassment by the tabloid press last November. The couple recently spent time together attending his best friend Tom Inskip’s luxurious Jamaica wedding.