FROM PERIOD TABOOS TO PERIOD POVERTY, TWINKLE KHANNA TAKES THE CONVERSATION ON MENSTRUAL HYGIENE GLOBAL AT THE OXFORD UNION |MEETS NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATE MALALA YOUSAFZAI AT OXFORD
Twinkle Khanna met the global icon and the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai to discuss education for girls.
Former participants include US Presidents Reagan, Nixon, and Carter, Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Sir Elton John, the Dalai Lama, Michael Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, Morgan Freeman, Shashi Tharoor, and Buzz Aldrin, to name but a few. Twinkle Khanna’s participation continues The Oxford Union’s fine tradition of hosting world leaders in every field.
Twinkle Khanna’s latest endeavour, Pad Man, the world’s first feature film on menstrual hygiene, is based on the life of social entrepreneur and activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, who revolutionised sanitary hygiene in rural India 20 years ago. Pad Man releases in cinemas on 25th January.
Pad Man Became First Indian Film to be showcased at The Oxford Union, presenting a milestone for Indian cinema.
At The Oxford Union, Twinkle Khanna explained why it is important that the world knows about Pad Man’s story, the imperative need to spotlight issues relating to menstrual hygiene, tackling taboos and breaking down the stigma attached to periods globally as a means to empower girls and women worldwide, and how movies have the potential to become movements.
· Twinkle Khanna discusses education for girls with Oxford student Malala Yousafzai
· Pad Man becomes the first Indian film to be showcased at The Oxford Union
· ‘Making a movie a movement’, Pad Man aims to put an end to the social taboo surrounding menstruation
In the Q&A session that followed her speech, Twinkle asked an audience filled with Oxford University students to raise their hands if they were currently on their periods. When almost three quarters of the room raised their arms aloft, Twinkle said “Now imagine sitting here with a rag cloth or a rolled up sock or even wadded up newspaper between your legs. Would it even be possible for you to study under those circumstances?
“Yet pads are still seen as a luxury item. Its odd that pads are taxed at 12 percent in India but brooms are tax free, because it is more important that you keep your house clean rather than your body, and that America has taxes on tampons but Viagra is in fact tax-free, perhaps because policies are made by 65 year old men.”
Answering questions from The Oxford Union Vice President Sabriyah Saeed, Twinkle said: “One of the things I really wanted from this movie, which I think we are already on the way to achieving, is to make it a conversation starter. We want all members of the family to discuss this topic, including the men, even if it is merely to decide whether they should go and see Pad Man or not!”
Speaking at the meeting, prior to Twinkle’s speech,Malala mentioned to Twinkle: “I’m really excited to see the film Pad Man, and am looking forward to seeing the trailer shortly because the message behind the film is truly inspiring.”
Approaching its 200th anniversary, The Oxford Union has an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford, with the aim of promoting debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. Former participants include US Presidents Reagan, Nixon, and Carter, Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Sir Elton John, the Dalai Lama, Michael Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, Morgan Freeman, Shashi Tharoor, and Buzz Aldrin, to name but a few. Twinkle Khanna’s participation continues The Oxford Union’s fine tradition of hosting world leaders in every field.