Author: Her Turn

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Why does menstruation matter?

Written by Ola Perczynska, Her Turn Program Manager, and Danielle Preiss, Her Turn Social Media Coordinator We used to call menstruating girls and women ‘untouchable,’” Sita, 12, told us after participating in a Her Turn workshop. In her community in rural Nepal, women and girls are traditionally considered impure during their periods. When Sita got her first period, she had to stay home for 11 days. She couldn’t go to school, or even touch a book. Sita’s situation is common in much of Nepal. A recent study from 15 districts revealed that 95% of adolescent girls follow some form of restriction during their periods. Practices vary by community: some girls can’t go to school or participate in religious rituals. Others endure a more extreme form; they are forced to sleep outside in huts or animal sheds, a practice called chaupadi. Menstruation doesn’t affect access to education only in Nepal. Girls around the globe miss school during their periods, or drop out altogether. In Sierra Leone over 21% of girls are absent from school when menstruating; in Nepal …

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Combating Child Marriage in Nepali Villages

By: Kathryn Sall, Her Turn Intern Renuka Thapa came to Nani Maya Gurung’s office crestfallen. Between her tears, broken sentences filled the room. For weeks she had fought with her parents. They were forcing her to get married, but at 18 years old, she wasn’t ready. She had hopes and dreams of a life in Kathmandu – working, earning an income, living on her own. About to complete grade 12, she wanted to finish school and use her education. They wouldn’t listen. Marriage was the appropriate and most secure next step for their daughter, and they felt it their right and duty to make the decision for her. Why waste time finishing school when they had a stable future lined up for her? Renuka disagreed. Thankfully she went to Nani, and thankfully Nani had observed a Her Turn workshop. Nani sits with her shoulders slightly rounded, eyes fixated on the Nepali district map behind me. Her long black plait rests on her back and her weathered, tawny hands nervously click a pen on the desk …

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Let’s celebrate Her Day!

As the world celebrates the run up to October 11th, at Her Turn we are amazed at all the amazing events, screenings, debates, articles and talks organized by so many various groups around the globe, that all raise awareness around the issues girls face worldwide. To contribute, we produced the Her Day video. It was made entirely through volunteer contributions from development workers and caring friends from around the globe. We hope you enjoy it. Big thank you to the participating organizations: More Than Me, PEPY Cambodia, CMAP and many amazing people from around the world who helped to make it happen. Most importantly, thank you to all the amazing girls who shared their ideas with us! Music: Meant To Be by Rob Costlow. Directed and created by Ola Perczynska (Her Turn) and Daniel Coyle. Visit Her Turn. Join Her Turn on Facebook.


Educated, empowered and equal: Her Turn Program, Nepal

It’s a powerful spectacle to witness: a ceremony in a Nepali village, where girls as young as 10 perform a stage play and give speeches on child marriage or domestic violence. These are the issues they and women from their communities face on a daily basis. Last week, over 150 Her Turn alumni led such ceremonies in three villages of Sindhupalchok district, while their parents and teachers marveled at their public speaking and advocacy skills. “After the workshop I found lots of changes in myself. Before I wasn’t able to talk much, but now I can speak in front of people.” Her Turn tries to answer these and other risks rooted in patriarchal social norms. Our keywords are: educated, empowered and equal and our aim is to bring these values to Nepali villages. Our program consists of four weeks long workshops for girls from public rural schools. The curriculum first covers the basics: the issues of health (puberty, nutrition, menstruation management) and safety (bullying, discrimination, domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking and child marriage). Next, …