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 National Gallery celebrates menstruation freedom

By Agencies

THE National Gallery of Zimbabwe will host an art exhibition themed Flow Art: Celebrating Womanhood and Menstruation on March 14, driven by the need to eliminate period poverty and unpack stigma and stereotypes around menstruation.

Event organiser, who is also the founder and managing director of Prendy, a company that manufactures and distributes packaged reusable sanitary pads, Yvonne Mateko said ce the event seeks to address menstrual challenges, stereotypes, allow expression and conversations around menstruation through art.

“From my experience in menstrual health management, I realised that if mothers get it wrong on menstrual issues their daughters would too and if society gets it wrong then menstrual freedom will remain a myth. There are a lot of stereotypes attached to it as a result of our cultural set-up and I felt the need to break the silence, unpacking menstruation-related issues in a creative edu-entertaining way,” she said.

Mateko does not believe menstruation is a burden, but rather should be celebrated and communities should be educated about it. She highlighted that the ideal medium to convey these messages is art as it is a form of expression which allows individuals to express their views surrounding menstruation and womanhood.

“Science notes that it takes only 13 milliseconds for the human brain to process an image and that the human brain processes an image 60 000 times faster than text. Therefore, communication through the pieces will spark conversations around the topic,” Mateko said.

She also shared the story that drove and motivated her to have an appreciation of menstruation and educate people and communities on the subject.

“I remember when I had my first period, I was told to keep it a secret and my mother shared a number of taboos associated with menstruation which was culturally correct. I struggled to simply purchase sanitary pads from local shops. I used an old pair of socks for the first few months and I felt cursed,” she said.

She later, through engaging women and girls, realised that she was not the only person who had gone through such experiences regarding menstruation as women shared their stories of being cursed instead of being blessed during their days every month.

-Agencies

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