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Nepal's Menstrual Movement: Tackling Taboos

Keki Adhikari is a well-known actress, model and film producer in her native Nepal. Since October 2020, she has a new role: as goodwill ambassador for menstrual health. Working with the GIZ-implemented Support to the Health Sector Programme (S2HSP) and the Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partners Alliance (MHM PA), she is raising awareness about the challenges which women and girls in Nepal continue to face during their monthly periods. With more than 1.5 million followers on social media, Keki is in a powerful position to tackle the misconceptions and stigma which surround menstruation – and to advocate for dignified menstruation for all.
In this 8-minute film – Keki Adhikari wants to find out how far Nepal has come in the fight against menstrual taboos and restrictions. She takes the viewer on a journey to the far west of the country where she visits a school and a village in a rural area to learn what has changed in girls’ and women’s daily lives – and what still needs to be done to ensure that every girl in Nepal can thrive during her period.

Nepal’s Menstrual Movement was produced with support from GIZ on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • Rajin Maharjan
  • Keki Adhikari
  • Sami Pande
    Production Manager
  • Dirk Gilson
    Executive Producer
  • Tabea Seiz
    Commissioning Editors
  • Jan Christoph Schlenk
    Commissioning Editors
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    महिनावारी सम्बन्धि नेपालको अभियान : वर्जित मान्यतासँग सामना
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 27, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Nepali
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Fullframe
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021 online Screening via Facebook (more than 200K views)
  • Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (kimff)
    December 12, 2021
Distribution Information
  • German Development Cooperation // Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
  • Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partner's Allaince (MHM PA)
  • Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
    Country: Worldwide
Director Biography - Rajin Maharjan

Rajin Maharjan, started his career as a visual editor/animator in 2010. He has a middle class humble origin and resides in Kathmandu. After a few years, as a visual editor/animator he started creative writing and directing ad films. This is where his ability flourished and in the span of over a decade he has written and directed over 100 television commercials, documentaries and PSAs. He has not only directed streamlined projects also has directed and produced quiz show "Career Quiz" for AP 1 HD in one of the national television of Nepal. As of now he is one of the sought after creative directors in Nepal especially in social development organizations.

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Director Statement

Every project is different and each project brings opportunity and challenges. The documentary movie production of the MHM Nepal Campaign, highlighting the existing menstrual taboos in Nepal, enriched my experience differently which fulfilled my desire directing short awareness social message movies. I was fortunate to travel Dhangadhi a far-western district with popular Nepali female actor Keki Adhikari and the entire technical team. The level of awareness about menstrual management and the mentality of people about talking openly about it was a whole new experience. I felt that the distance of the place from Kathmandu didn’t affect the level of knowledge and positive thinking on menstrual hygiene management among adolescents. Despite the deep-rooted traditional norms and values existing among the older generation, all the adolescent girls provided their consent to become part of the interview process and were open when communicating on the topic. This made me realize that our country has forwarded its step towards progressive development. In addition to that, the level of knowledge and literature research done by Keki Adhikari also supported us in the entire process. All these factors gave additional energy during the making of this documentary.
It’s always a challenge to prepare a documentary on social issues. However, the mentoring and expert support which I received from Tabea Seiz and Jan Schlenk made it somewhat comfortable. During the production of the documentary, for arranging and managing all the management and logistics I am heartily thankful to Sami Pande. Lastly, I honestly convey my gratitude to Dirk Gilson, who guided my team through his direction and guidance remotely.