Priyanka ShreStha, Nepal, 18
Project: Global South Initiative
Basic Human Needs: Education, Health
When Priyanka visited a remote area in western Nepal, she was shocked by both the menstrual discrimination and the poor menstrual hygiene faced by the women there. When she returned home to Kathmandu she interviewed adults in her community about the beliefs and practices that are deeply rooted in Nepalese society surrounding the topic of menstruation. In 2016, she founded Dignity for All to address the lack of menstrual hygiene and to restore dignity to women in western Nepal. Dignity for All aims to empower Nepali women by hosting educational sessions on menstrual hygiene and sexual health. Priyanka also leads campaigns to fight against traditional misconceptions and discriminatory actions associated with menstruation, such as forcing females to be isolated during their periods, causing girls to miss school and forcing women to miss work. Dignity for All has distributed reusable sanitary pads to 500 females in western Nepal. Priyanka plans to expand Dignity for All into other districts of Nepal where women continue to face these same issues. She hopes to change the mindset and increase the awareness of Nepali citizens so that one day there will be dignity for all women, everywhere.