“Period. End of Sentence” Wins 2019 Oscar for Short Documentary

A Netflix documentary on Menstruation stigma Period. End of Sentence is the 2019 OSCAR winner for best short Documentary.

In her acceptance speech after winning the Academy Award for best short documentary Period. End of Sentence” director Rayka Zehtabchi highlighted how the taboos around periods are a global issue, and not just in India where the film is set. Dedicating the Oscar to her students, producer Melissa Berton said the project was born because her students in L.A. and people in India wanted to make a “human rights difference.” Concluding, she said: “I share this award with the teachers and students around the world — a period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.”

This Oscar-winning documentary, now streaming on Netflix, focuses on a group of women in a rural village outside Delhi, India, who, not having easy access to hygienic sanitary products, decide to manufacture them as cost-effectively as possible. “The taboos around menstruation in India and the lack of hygienic sanitary products lead to almost a third of Indian girls missing school during their periods”.

While lack of access to feminine hygiene products is usually associated with girls and women in third-world countries, we know that there is a need right here in the United States. This award helps shine a spotlight on the work of US charitable organizations trying to make menstrual products affordable and available to those who need them. 

Churches in particular regularly receive requests for feminine hygiene items. By bringing this unpleasant situation into the light of day via this documentary, the United States has the opportunity to play a crucial role in ensuring that the needs of millions of girls and women are met.

Right here in Princeton, at Princeton UMC, we have an opportunity to contribute through the Princeton Period Project. It provides feminine hygiene products (tampons and pads) for girls and women in our community and we need to keep it going. This project is part of the Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen (PCCK) at the Princeton UMC.  A donation box has been set up in the hallway outside the Clothing Closet in the Princeton UMC. Your donations are greatly appreciated. Click Here to Help princetonperiod.org/donate  

Written by Isabella Dougan