Speak Now is a groundbreaking program that was borne from an idea put forth by Women’s Empowerment Advocate and Girls’ Mentor, Gladys Muthara, in collaboration with Young Urban Women leaders, Sulemana Sumaya, Abdul-Wahab Azara, and Mohammed Rukaya. The program is launched by Ananke Magazine.
The program consists of a series of engaging events, both online and off, inviting girls and women to talk about pressing issues they face in their day-to-day lives. The program will primarily focus on women’s health and wellbeing, encompassing even those topics that are stereotyped and considered taboo in society. Speak Now is not only an engaging discussion among females, but also a forum that invites women trailblazers, activists, renowned thinkers to share their thoughts and insight.
The first season of the program aims to showcase the very pressing topic of menstruation affecting girls and young women mainly in Northern Region Ghana, around Africa and even beyond, thereby derailing the realization of their full potentials by holding them back under the yokes of poverty and inequality.
Bearing in mind the power of digital technology to speed up change, this initiative applies various aspects of tech and the Internet, such as streaming videos and social media engagement (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo) to amplify the girls’ voices.
The approach undertaken on Speak Now is as simple as speaking, yet as difficult as breaking the silence on health issues surrounding topics considered shameful, by millions of people across the world; from government authorities, medical practitioners, human rights activists, teachers, traditional leaders, religious leaders, parents, men, women, boys, and even girls alike.
Therefore, Ananke seeks to strike out inequalities and gender biases through enlightening live-streamed, pre-recorded video sessions or international level webinars and tweetachats etc.; applying a unique, evidence-based approach of young women and girls speaking out candidly about their health challenges, in order to translate advocacy into action.
Within numerous communities, silence has been deafening with girls’ expression gagged and bodily integrity demeaned, missing school days, contracting infections, bearing shame, stigma, and excruciating pain. In silence girls bear it all yet still being dismissed with the issues being swept under the carpet every single time.
Speak Now strives to engage young men, boys, women, and all stakeholders, delving deep into the different perceptions of taboos and gender stereotype, minutely looking at social norms revolving around menstruation, the general awareness or lack of it as well as addressing other underlying issues like taxation of womanhood, water and sanitation.
Ultimately, Ananke touches base on menstruation in the context of bodily integrity, girls’ education, and young women’s economic empowerment. And Yes! We also intend to make fun of this elephant in the room, Menstruation.
By using digital platforms, Ananke hope that this crucial conversation will spread like fire in the dry savannah grasslands of West Africa, to reach governments and other duty bearers, for response and action. We also hope to encourage girls globally to overcome the shame and speak up, because, only then, can they get the much-needed sustainable solutions.
Thank you for joining us to break this deafening silence together!
Season 1: Proposed Episodes on Menstruation
- My First Day of Menstruation
- Menstruation Myths, Taboos, & Stigma
- Menstruation Hygiene
- Menstruation Care Products
- Menstruation Care Products affordability
- Taxing Womanhood
- Education & Menstruation (School Drop Out & absenteeism, Changing Rooms, Teachers’ Support)
- Government Policies to address Menstruation related challenges around the world
- Menstruation & Poverty
- Menstruation & Inequality
- Menstruation Difficulties & Care
- Classroom Menstruation worries
- When I messed up my school uniform
- Weird Menstruation Period names
- Bleeding disorders & concerns e.g. Endometriosis, Fainting, Pimples
- Period Party
- Imagine a man/boy on Menstruation!
To participate, contact us:
Gladys Muthara: firstname.lastname@example.org