Title

Educate, Empower, Change: Strategies for Overcoming Stigmas Surrounding Menstrual Health

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Menstruation is often misrepresented, stigmatized, and ignored. A lack of education and distorted view of menstruation in society greatly impacts young menstruators as they begin to have periods and can have long-term negative effects on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In order to design a project that effectively addresses this global problem, we used the Human Centered Design method. This method involves three steps: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. During the inspiration phase, we conducted expert interviews with professionals in the field of menstrual health and completed a literature review in order to further our understanding of the issues facing menstrua tors and explore different possible solutions. On the basis of our findings, we developed a website and a social media campaign to educate, empower, and change attitudes towards menstruation. During the ideation stage, we worked with a consultant and applied strategies from different fields to develop (1) a website that included educational materials, podcasts, games, etc., and (2) a social media campaign that allowed us to reach our target audience efficiently and effectively. During the implementation phase, we conducted a survey, interviews, and focus group discussions with a sample of the target audience, our partner organizations, and menstrual health experts to obtain input for improving our website. In addition, we applied evidence-based strategies to launch a social media campaign. To evaluate our project we preformed the following: (1) assessed the outcomes by collecting quantitative data from our social media followings and website interactions and (2) assessed the impact by conducting a content analysis of shared stories and discussions through brand-based hashtags and social media posts. Our goal being to create a sustainable, wide-reaching social campaign that empowers girls to take control of their bodies, educate everyone, and break the cycle of silence through increasing and normalizing conversations surrounding menstruation.

Category

Interdisciplinary (GLI)

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Apr 17th, 2:00 PM Apr 17th, 2:20 PM

Educate, Empower, Change: Strategies for Overcoming Stigmas Surrounding Menstrual Health

UC North Ballroom

Menstruation is often misrepresented, stigmatized, and ignored. A lack of education and distorted view of menstruation in society greatly impacts young menstruators as they begin to have periods and can have long-term negative effects on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In order to design a project that effectively addresses this global problem, we used the Human Centered Design method. This method involves three steps: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. During the inspiration phase, we conducted expert interviews with professionals in the field of menstrual health and completed a literature review in order to further our understanding of the issues facing menstrua tors and explore different possible solutions. On the basis of our findings, we developed a website and a social media campaign to educate, empower, and change attitudes towards menstruation. During the ideation stage, we worked with a consultant and applied strategies from different fields to develop (1) a website that included educational materials, podcasts, games, etc., and (2) a social media campaign that allowed us to reach our target audience efficiently and effectively. During the implementation phase, we conducted a survey, interviews, and focus group discussions with a sample of the target audience, our partner organizations, and menstrual health experts to obtain input for improving our website. In addition, we applied evidence-based strategies to launch a social media campaign. To evaluate our project we preformed the following: (1) assessed the outcomes by collecting quantitative data from our social media followings and website interactions and (2) assessed the impact by conducting a content analysis of shared stories and discussions through brand-based hashtags and social media posts. Our goal being to create a sustainable, wide-reaching social campaign that empowers girls to take control of their bodies, educate everyone, and break the cycle of silence through increasing and normalizing conversations surrounding menstruation.