Procter & Gamble’s feminine-care brand, Whisper has released a new thought provoking ‘The Missing Chapter’ film via Leo Burnett India, as part of the fourth edition of its #KeepGirlsInSchool (KGIS) movement. This time, the film aims to educate mothers on the biology of periods so that they, in turn, can educate their daughters on periods including menstrual hygiene and using sanitary pads during their monthly cycles.
Studies show, 1 in 5 girls drop out of school every year in India due to lack of period education. Studies have also found that 7 in 10 mothers don’t know the biology of periods and consider it ‘dirty or impure’, often passing this to their daughters. With mothers being the first teachers of their children, it is important they educate their young daughters correctly about the natural process of periods and about using the right products. In most parts of India, mothers themselves are unaware about the biological workings of their body during menstruation leaving 71% of the girls in India not aware about periods when they first get them. As a result, young girls have limited knowledge on how to manage their periods and prefer to stay home during period days every month.
The new film begins with the attendance roll call being done in a classroom and the protagonist, Purvi, being absent yet another day. Her friends decide to take matters in their own hands to educate Purvi’s mother so that their friend doesn’t miss another day of school because of her periods. They collect an assortment of objects — a bicycle seat, plastic bottle, pipes, marbles, and watermelons — to create a science project 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’, another common way periods are referred too, but it’s the mother that the friends want to meet. They set up their project and demonstrate for 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.
“For a natural process like periods, it is very important that parents educate their young daughters correctly. In most parts of India, we’ve seen that 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 eventually dropping out of school altogether. Our film ‘The Missing chapter’ aims to address this and spread awareness among mothers so that the next generation of women is empowered and educated to manage their periods and keep girls in school,” said Girish Kalyanaraman – Vice President and Category Leader, Feminine Care, Procter & Gamble India.
Sharing her support for the movement, actor Mrunal Thakur, said: “Menstrual education is so important to teach girls about their periods, their body and how to manage it. It is also about breaking the taboo and stigma surrounding menstruation, empowering girls with knowledge and choices, and ensuring their right to health, dignity, and education. Whisper is doing an incredible job with its #KeepGirlsInSchool Campaign, and I am proud to be associated with this cause. It’s time to have open conversations about periods and create a world where menstruation is not a barrier to girls’ education and well-being. By keeping girls in school, we are not only investing in their individual growth and success but also in the progress and prosperity of our society.”
Rajdeepak Das, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett – South Asia, said: “A mother is the first teacher of a child, the one who imparts life’s most important lessons. Thus she could be a powerful ally in our journey with Whisper to Keep Girls in School. But in India, mothers themselves lack the education to teach their daughters about periods. Our focus this year is to educate mothers, create a chain of positive information, and break the cycle of ignorance.”
The KGIS campaign addresses all girls in India, breaking myths about periods being ‘dirty’ or an ‘illness’ by educating girls about the science of the female reproductive system and how the usage of sanitary products can help them go to school.
Whisper’s #KeepGirlsInSchool program has so far helped keep over 10 crore girls in school by providing free pads and period education to girls through the year.
Vice President and Category Leader, Feminine Care, P&G: Girish Kalyanaraman
Senior Director, Feminine Care, P&G: Akhil Meshram
Vice-President, Brand Building Integrated Communications, P&G: Rohini Miglani
IPM Brand Building Integrated Communications, P&G: Mitalee Prabhu
Brand Director, Feminine Care, P&G: Varsha Rawat
Brand Director Communications, P&G: Kruti Desai
Senior Brand Manager, Feminine Care, P&G: Mahashweta
Leo Burnett Team
CEO & Chief Creative Officer, South Asia: Rajdeepak Das
CEO & Chief Strategy Officer, South Asia: Dheeraj Sinha
National Creative Director: Sachin Kamble
National Creative Director: Vikram Pandey
Group Executive Creative Director: Sonal Chhajerh
Senior Creative Director: Zarwan Divecha
Associate Creative Director: Fauzan Malim
Senior Copywriter: Kaizeen Vankadia
Copy Writer: Vishvas Rakheja
Art Director: Nilay Chourikar
Vice President: Arabind Verma
Associate Vice President: Andrea D’Souza
Brand Services Director: Purvi Bakliwal
Brand Services Associate: Simran Bajwa
Project Manager: Shirish Rane
Senior Vice President Strategy: Noor Samra
Brand Strategy Partner: Ayshwarya Sharma
Brand Strategy Associate: Revati Chavan
Head of Films Department: Jignesh Maru
Agency Executive Producer: Anil Sonawane
Creative Editor: Akshay Sonawane