It was wonderful to finally meet the superb team at Pan Macmillan in Delhi. Teesta and I had been in contact for over five years. I found her name in the back of Love in Chakiwara when I checked to see who the editor was because the writing was so smooth. I thought then, if I ever had a book, I’d want to work with her…
In December 2022 I made a special trip to India to meet with the contributors of Period Matters. Through the book I feel I have made lifelong friends. I first read Shashi Deshpande’s work in the 1980’s and there I found in one of her novels a description of menstruation. One of the characters Saru, descriped how awful it was for her. I was surprised because menstruation was never talked about in those days, let alone appearing in fiction…
Eleanor Roosevelt asked, where do human rights begin? Where do they matter? In places too small to be seen on maps, in classrooms, playgrounds, offices and homes… Obviously she was speaking before the days of Google maps, but she made an important point that if they didn’t matter there, they didn’t matter anywhere else.
I finished Farah’s Period book a while ago, but it has really affected my view of the world. It’s not that I didn’t know about these problems, but somehow the way it came across with the variety of stories and perspectives and scholarship gave a very powerful impression of what women all over the world are up against, in these times when we ought to know better…
A book event was held on 23rd November 2022 at the University of East London as part of a series of seminars on Period Justice.
Meera Tiwari moderated a session on Period Matters. Farah Ahamed spoke about her journey to compiling the book and Radha Paudel shared her activism around the meaning of dignified menstruation…
The Financial Times asked its readers to nominate the most influential women of the year – women who have overcome barriers, set examples and shone a light on some of the most urgent issues of our time.
Farah was one of the nominees that the Financial Times selected.
There have been mixed reactions to the cover of Period Matters which is a detail from Aadya Shakti, a painting by Lyla FreeChild. She harvested her menstrual blood for many months and used it to paint.
Is the cover taking things too far? Here are some of the reactions.
Periods are natural and there is nothing to be ashamed of it.
When encountered by a sexist person or someone who makes sexist jokes about PMS, throw this book [Period Matters] in their face. It takes a lot more than this for people to normalize periods, nevertheless throwing this book in their face is not a bad idea. Literally as well. :p
In August, Momspresso on the App and Instagram ran a 100-word short story competition with the theme of periods, inspired by Period Matters. The winners received copies of the anthology. It was difficult to choose the best pieces, so many of them touched on important aspects of the experience, and were movingly written. Here are the best three…
In my Introduction of Period Matters, I talk about my young nieces being involved in Panties with Purpose. They are helping to raise awareness and funds towards alleviating period poverty. What is heartening is that they are able to speak to their peers, both girls and boys, with confidence about menstruation as a normal, natural bodily process.