161. Menstrual Equity Changes Lives: The Power of Days

Imagine a world where menstruation is not a taboo topic, but rather a catalyst for empowerment, education, and change. In this episode of Pediatric Meltdown, join host Dr. Lia Gaggino as she interviews Celest Mergen, a passionate advocate for menstrual equity and the founder of Days for Girls. Prepare to have your preconceptions shattered as Celeste reveals the transformative power of simply listening and inviting others to be part of the solution. From engaging communities worldwide to reinterpreting past traumas, every moment is an opportunity for change. Days for Girls is not just a movement for girls, but for everyone willing to stand up and make a difference. By providing sustainable menstrual care solutions and education, they are changing lives, breaking down barriers, and empowering individuals all around the world. Celeste’s talks about her experience in Kenya, where conversation and understanding led to the laying down of knives and the preservation of rich traditions without harm. As we think about applying her methods to other world problems, the positive outcomes are endless. Together, let’s listen, learn, and create a world where every voice is heard and every individual is empowered to make a difference.

 

[00:33 -22:42] Days For Girls: Breaking Menstrual Taboos

  • Introduction to Days For Girls: Days For Girls provides menstrual care products and education, giving women and girls access to menstrual equity, dignity, and opportunity.
  • Global Impact: It addresses the pervasive issue of menstruation taboos, affecting over 500 million people worldwide, by providing essential products and starting conversations.
  • The Power of Conversations: By breaking the silence around menstruation, Days For Girls helps eliminate stigma and empowers women and girls to manage their periods with confidence.
  • Design Evolution: Days For Girls continuously improves its washable pads, involving those they serve in the design process, holding two patents, and expanding their impact globally.

[22:43 – 37:11]  Changing Culture

  • Recognize the need for change: Understand that cultural practices may be deeply rooted and ingrained in a community.
  • Avoid making people wrong: People resist change when they feel criticized or judged, so refrain from telling them they are wrong.
  • Invite participation: Encourage people to be part of the solution rather than imposing change on them.
  • Find common ground: Identify shared values or aspects of the culture that everyone can agree on

[37:12 – 46:22]  Impact on Girls’ Lives

  • Empowerment through writing articles and letters to magazines about body image representation.
  • Positive influence of American Girl magazine’s focus on stories rather than body image.
  • The transformative effect of providing hygiene kits to girls in need.
  • Stories of girls experiencing newfound confidence and freedom with hygiene products.

[46:23 – 54:12]  Availability of Menstrual Products

  • The Isle organization offers washable menstrual products
  • Cups and washable products are widely available online
  • Washable products can be found at various stores
  • Various options for washable menstrual products online

[54:13 – 57:49]  Closing segment Takeaway

 

You can reach Dr.Celeste Mergen

 Insta:

Facebook:

LinkedIn:

 

Links to resources mentioned on the show

Celest’s Book

 

 

Other episodes you may like:

 

Ep  151 American Indian/Alaskan Native Youth: Beyond Adversity

Ep  146 Racism, Medicine, and Transformation: Eliminating Health Disparities and Systemic Inequities

Ep  111 Health is a Human Right: Why Are We Falling Behind?

 

Key quotes for Twitter:

“The power of invitation changes people’s behavior, and that’s how we’ve seen true transformation happen”…Celeste Mergen on how she’s learned to bring people together.

“Days for Girls is not just for girls. It’s for anyone who stands up and says, ‘I’m going to do something about this issue”… Celeste Mergen on who Days For Girls serves.

 

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Dr Lia Gaggino

Dr Lia Gaggino Host of the Pediatric Meltdown Podcast

Dr. Lia Gaggino has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years on the west side of Michigan. During her career as a primary care physician, she has been privileged to care for children and adolescents, and know that their success is closely tied to mental wellness.

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Dr. Lia Gaggino has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years on the west side of Michigan. During her career as a primary care physician, she has been privileged to care for children and adolescents, and know that their success is closely tied to mental wellness.

Recent Episodes

  • All Post
  • ADHD
  • Advocacy
  • Aggression and Disruptive Behaviors
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Genetics
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Mental Health
  • Other
  • Pain
  • Parent/child
  • Physician Well-Being
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep
  • Social Media
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Trauma

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