Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu gave a speech on why we should break the stigma on menstrual health.
On Tuesday, April 26, Sandhu attended the Modess event at Hilton Manila to talk about periods, “a topic which is close to [her] heart”.
The Indian beauty queen shared that she was inspired by her gynaecologist mother to empower other women to learn and appreciate their bodies more.
“It's okay to menstruate. It is normal. It is a part of our body and we should be grateful because that makes us stronger every month—we bleed. That's incredible,” she reminded.
Sandhu added that in many parts of the world, including India and the Philippines, women have to choose between food and pads.
“Pads are never seen as essential. Why? Because men don’t menstruate? Because we don't speak and ask for a pad,” she said. “And that’s why I'm here today to talk about these things, and to break stigmas, to normalize terminologies—menstruation, periods, pads, tampons,” Sandhu added.
She calls for other girls and women to be “sisters,” “elder friends,” and be each others’ emotional support and to be reminded that menstruation is normal and should not be a taboo topic.
The reigning Miss Universe says that parents should also teach their sons about menstrual health.
“We need men to support us. Even my brother has always been so supportive. So as my father. They make sure they take care of my moods,” she shared.
Sandhu joins with different communities and organizations to give awareness on this matter so that women can have access to proper menstrual tools.
“Let's pledge today that whoever you meet—whether a boy or a girl, all gender, you will make them feel confident. You will educate them about menstrual hygiene. And together we will be change makers by breaking all the stigmas and stereotypes,” Sandhu said.