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By Amit Bapna, APAC editor-at-large

March 13, 2023 | 6 min read

P&G-owned feminine care brand Whisper has launched a new phase of ‘The Missing Chapter’ campaign, targeting mothers of young girls.

The campaign, which is the fourth edition of Whisper's #KeepGirlsInSchool (KGIS) movement, aims to normalise periods and remove the fear and trauma that can surround the monthly cycle to help empower girls to go about their normal lives.

The groundbreaking campaign, which was conceptualised by Leo Burnett India, has been highly awarded, including scooping the Sustainable Development Grand Prix at Cannes, and is credited with building the feminine care category in India.

The latest edition aims to educate mothers on the biology of periods so that they, in turn, can educate their daughters on both menstrual hygiene and help them use sanitary pads to help with their monthly cycles.

Research by India's leading feminine care brand found one in five girls drop out of school every year in India due to a lack of period education. The data also shows that ironically seven in 10 mothers don’t know the biology of periods and consider it ‘dirty or impure’ and the myth gets passed on to the daughters as well. With mothers being their children’s first teachers, it is crucial that they can provide accurate education about this natural process to their daughters.

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Girish Kalyanaraman, vice president and category leader of feminine care at Procter & Gamble India says, “In large parts of the country, mothers themselves are unaware about the biology of periods and the ways to manage it. As a result, menstrual hygiene is compromised.”

This leads to girls staying at home during their period days every month and they slowly start falling behind in school, before eventually dropping out of school altogether, he adds. This is why Whisper, as India's largest feminine care brand, believes it is critical to empower the nation's mothers with the knowledge to guide the next generation of women.

Rajdeepak Das, CEO & chief creative officer, Leo Burnett - South Asia, says, “A mother is the first teacher of a child, the one who imparts life’s most important lessons – she becomes thus an obvious and a powerful ally in this journey to keep girls in school.”

The campaign aims to break the cycle of ignorance and help change the narrative around women's health, their bodies and specifically their reproductive systems.

Creative storytelling

The film shows a classroom with the attendance roll call being done and the protagonist, Purvi, being absent again. Her two friends decide to take matters into their own hands to educate Purvi’s mother so that their friend doesn't miss another day of school because of her periods. Putting their common sense and knowledge to good use, they collect an assortment of objects - a bicycle seat, plastic bottle, pipes, marbles, and watermelons - to create a working model to explain the workings of the female reproductive system to Purvi’s mother.

When they reach Purvi’s house with their model, the mother thinks they’ve come to see Purvi. She tells them she is ‘unwell’, which is a common way that periods are referred to by Indian women. However, the friends are here to see Purvi's mother. They set up their project and demonstrate to her the biological process of periods which happens each month and more importantly by using the right sanitary product, i.e., a pad can help them do everything on their period days, even attend school.

Whisper has been addressing this key challenge of menstrual health for the last few years with a variety of interventions including their flagship ‘The Missing Chapter’ initiative.

The previous edition of the campaign, which launched in 2022, aimed to ensure that a chapter on period education was included in school education so that all adolescent girls in India are educated on menstrual hygiene. Whisper believes a simple chapter on menstrual hygiene is all that is needed to make a huge impact on a generation of women.

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