International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018
Every year on International Menstrual Hygiene Day, PwP supported a community based organisation with its efforts towards ending period poverty by providing them with underpants.
Hot Mango Chutney Sauce
I interviewed these four young women outside a shrine in the city centre of Multan. I explained I was researching a book on menstruation and wanted to ask them some questions. They were very friendly at first and suggested I take a photo of them. They said they were willing to share openly…
Getting your period is, for many, filled with anxiety. Waiting for your period is also nerve wracking. And not getting it and finding out you’re pregnant can be either a terrifying or happy event. It all depends on your circumstances. I drew up this simple Period Table while thinking of the devastating consequences on so many women with the overturning of Roe vs Wade…
In 2018 I came across To Die in Benares, a short story collection by K Madavane, translated from the French by Blake Smith and really loved his story Paper Boat.
I wrote him an email telling him why his story moved me so much, and we began a correspondence about writing…
Opening up the conversation
The way we tell and share our stories about menstruation, whether it be through fiction or essays, art or dance, are ways in which we open up the conversation. I first came across Shashi Deshpande’s novels in the eighties when I was living in Kenya. When I read about the protagonist Saru menstruating in The Dark Holds No Terrors, I was shocked…
Street vendors in Karachi
I interviewed these women sitting on the pavement selling dried fruits outside the main city market in Karachi. They laughed when I asked for their permission to speak to them about my book and the research I was doing, saying ‘foreigners’ are interested in the strangest of things…
On the 22nd of May 2022, Period Matters was pre-launched as part of International Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrations, at LUMS, a university in Lahore. The cover was revealed with an explanation of its art work, made by Lyla FreeChild with her menstrual blood. Amna Mawaz Khan’s menstrual dance, commissioned for the book, was shown publicly for the first time…
Sadan Shah Dargah
The homeless women I interviewed lived here. They were very hesitant to talk about their periods, saying it was a private matter and if their husbands saw them talking to me, and found out they were discussing such personal issues, they would say their wives had brought dishonour to the family. We went behind the shrine and one of them talked more openly to me.
Autobiography of an anthology
Over three years I made numerous lists, asking myself many questions. Who should be in the book? What new perspective will they bring? Are they the best person to tell that story? Period Matters has been a labour of love.
Panties with Purpose started off as a campaign in 2011 to help a thousand girls in Kibera with four pairs of pants and menstrual products and to raise awareness about girls in poor areas of Kenya missing five days a month of school because of no access to menstrual products.