Monday, March 8th, 2010
Happy International Women’s Day! I am launching a series of essays and poems women have sent to me to protest how menstruation is used against women.
It was inspired by a young Egyptian woman called Eman Hashim who wrote to tell me via Twitter that at a demonstration she attended in support of women judges in Egypt, a man who opposed the appointments of women to the State Council, an influential court which governs matters of administrative law in Egypt, yelled at the women “a woman menstruates so she shouldn’t be a judge”. A male lawyer yelled “Go home and cook for your husbands.”
A young man called “Mohamed TravellerWithin” told me on Facebook: “In the Liberian elections a few years back, football superstar George Weah was running against Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Before the second round, Weah’s supporter’s demonstrated carrying white cloth on a stick with a red stain in the middle, and banners saying “is that what you want your president to be like- for a week a month? The result? Huge mobilization from Liberia’s women movements, bringing Johnson-Sirleaf to power, to become Africa’s first female head of state.”
So I sent out a call via Facebook and Twitter for essays and poems on periods. Some of the women are anyonmous (I’ve verified their identity) while others were ok with using their own name. I’m publishing them here on my Blog and linking on Facebook too. And I will publish them as long as they keep coming.
Thank you to all theh wonderful women who answered my call.