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Red Tent Project

The Red Tent Project is a menstruation and sustainability awareness project designed and run by PhD student Rebecca Evans with funding from the WQBP PE seed fund. The project had its first major outing at the British Science Festival 2019 and has been exhibited at some eco-events, including the Environmenstrual Festival. Its aim is to increase awareness about the challenges faced by girls globally in managing their menarche and menstruation, and to promote discourse on the issue with the goal of listening to girls’ needs and trying to find sustainable solutions. The project aims to go into schools and community groups to provide talks, opportunities for discussion, and opportunities to engage in activities that will lead to heightened awareness. Specifically, the talks will be about Rebeccas research regarding menarche and menstruation management in low-resource settings. (Without pads or painkillers, as well as limited opportunities to change, wash and dispose of used menstrual products, many girls will drop out of school at menarche). Discussion forums will allow both girls and boys (separately) to ask their own questions regarding menarche and menstruation. Additionally, practical sessions where students compare menstrual hygiene products (some sustainable, some not) for them to consider the pros and cons of the items. For younger students a ‘make your own pad’ sewing kits is used as an activity to promote empathy and sustainability, whilst allowing for discussion during the sewing.

Feedback on Rebeccas project has so far been overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of participants rating the red tent as a safe space to discuss menstruation and 75% having learnt something new after the events.