Due to COVID-19 restrictions, UNICEF Pakistan was unable to conduct activities on the ground to commemorate Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) 2020. But engaging with Pakistani sportswomen and sharing positive messages via social media has been a hugely successful pathway to breaking the silence and sharing widely that #periodsdon’tstopforpandemics.
Impact case study in partnership with UNICEF Pakistan.
Involving female national sports stars was the highlight of UNICEF Pakistan’s social media campaign for 2020. They exemplify the resilience and tenacity of many young Pakistani women, and thus are great role models. Famous Pakistani sportswomen such as Sana Mahmud, Captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Basketball Team and former Captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Football Team, Hajra Khan, Captain Pakistan Women’s National Football Team and Kiran Khan, the first female international swimmer from Pakistan, are national UNICEF MHM champions and ensure the success of the campaign.
As a Pakistani female athlete, who is now also a mother, I think it’s important to talk about MHM because it immediately busts one major myth – that if you’re active during your period you will somehow damage your reproductive organs and disturb your cycle. UNICEF’s campaign is great because it is built on the experiences of athletes, who Pakistani girls can relate to. We are from the same soil, same culture and here we are saying, that talking about menstruation is normal. And I truly believe the more we normalize it, the easier it will become for girls to ask questions, clear their confusions and seek help whenever they need to.
It was my life long dream to represent UNICEF. It is important to raise awareness regarding age-old myths around menstruation. We need to educate adolescent girls and women about the importance of menstruation and help them overcome their fears of attending school or playing sports.
About the campaign
- “Be Bold – Be Free” – a period should not limit any woman or girl
- Periods don’t stop for pandemics. Neither do we. #ItsTimeForAction to ensure period education for all – now and after the #COVID19 pandemic. Let’s change the mindset around menstruation.
- Education about menstruation is critical to enable women and girls to manage their periods safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame.
Total Social Media Impressions: 29,646,409
Total Social Media Engagements: 2,030,921
Learnings from UNICEF Pakistan on the campaign:
- An effective social media campaign requires coherent and cohesive messages that are packaged in an interesting way in order to appeal to the target audience that is selected for a particular campaign.
- Social media remains an important platform to engage communities on sensitive topics like menstruation, especially in countries where the pandemic still persists.
- UNICEF Pakistan was able to trigger a discussion where people from different walks of life engaged openly in the comment sections. However, it is important to moderate the comment section to avoid spam or negative, harmful comments
- The analysis of the campaign highlighted the need for further MHM education initiatives.