Nations are passing new laws to accommodate menstruation, but only Odisha (formerly Orissa) state in India has an annual celebration of menstruation. During the 3-day festival, women and girls play, parade, eat, rest, and all agricultural activity is supposed to cease. The festival celebrates the Earth as a mothering goddess who menstruates and who also needs to rest. Speakers are Ranjeeta Priyadarshini, a former metal worker, now a law student who campaigns nationwide for paid period leave in India; Sociology professor Dr. Rita Roy; Tapaswini, a metal industry worker from Odisha state; Akansha Mishra, a law student from Rajasthan state; and Pallavi, a factory worker. Music in the program is from the annual festival.
The Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS) has been covering the global women’s movement and related issues for community radio since 1986, with the help of contributing producers from around the world. WINGS may be contacted at [email protected]