Period. End of Sentence., an Indian documentary directed by an Iranian American filmmaker, Rayka Zehtabchi, won an Oscar award, at the 91st Academy Awards. The 2019 Oscars took place on the 25th of February, from 6:30 A.M., (IST) onwards, at the Dolby Theatre, California, United States of America.
The documentary is based on menstruation and was shot in a small village of Hapur district, 60 km outside Delhi.
Period. End of Sentence. revolves around the struggle of women during menstruation and their views about the same. The documentary also depicts the efforts undertaken by the Pad Man of India, Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented a low budget machine to manufacture sanitary napkins, with an aim of turning India into a 100 % sanitary napkins’ user.
This Rayka Zehtabchi directorial also exhibits the strength of women who took the lead in understanding the importance of pads for their health and in teaching other women the same. In as small a village as Hapur, where using the word ‘period’ is considered a taboo, the women of the village being brave not only helped in the launch of the sanitary napkins’ factory, but also convinced others to break free from the taboo.
The number of women in India using sanitary napkins needs to change as the current figure stands at less than 10 %. This needs to increase. Even in 2019, there are numerous villages where women are still struggling with the usage of pads and instead, use pieces of cloth, which are harmful to them and unhygienic.
However, the media is trying to make a difference with efforts such as ‘period parties’ in the United States of America (U.S.A.,) Bollywood movies and documentaries.
In 2018, a movement was started in the U.S.A., to create awareness about menstruation by throwing a grand themed party as a way to celebrate the families’ young daughter(s) attaining womanhood.
The main idea behind throwing such a party is to talk about something which is a natural phenomenon and cannot be ignored. The party was thrown by parents to make their daughter understand the monthly menstruation cycle.
In South India as well, people celebrate girls attaining puberty and celebrate the adulthood of a girl who reaches sexual maturity.
Akshay Kumar’s Padman was also like a campaign for creating awareness amongst the people about menstruation and sanitary napkins. During the promotions, Mr. Kumar and the Padman team started the #PadManChallenge, which was taken by thousands of people on social media platforms.
Celebrities such as Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit and Akshay Kumar participated in the challenge and posted a photo each with a pad (sanitary napkin.)
The short film Period. End of Sentence. conveyed, the concept is worth understanding not only by the rural women, but also by Indian men, who consider menstruation an illness.
At the 91st Academy Awards, the documentary stood out and won the award for its subject matter.
Guneet Monga and Rayka Zehtabchi expressed their happiness by holding the Oscar award.
WE WON!!! To every girl on this earth… know that you are a goddess… if heavens are listening… look MA we put @sikhya on the map ❤️
— Guneet Monga (@guneetm) February 25, 2019