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  • Writer's pictureManvinder Rayat & Muskandeep Kaur

Barkat making an impact at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Team Barkat at KPU Langley and KPU Surrey Campuses.

During the vibrant and enlightening three-day Kwantlen Student Association Welcome Week in the fall of 2023, a powerful sentiment echoed from the back of the crowd, "Menstrual literacy should be as paramount as academic integrity," and it resonated profoundly with the gathered audience. These words encapsulated the essence of the event, where countless such phrases reverberated throughout the venue. The protagonist of this transformative narrative, Barkat, not only seized the opportunity to amplify its message but also engaged in profound conversations that unearthed stories and experiences hidden beneath the weight of societal expectations.

Each story held its unique grip on the audience's hearts, underscoring the gravity of the issue at hand. What initially seemed like a casual proclamation evolved into a poignant revelation—menstrual literacy was a matter far more substantial and pressing than initially perceived.

The pivotal discourse began on the inaugural day of the KSA Welcome Week at KPU Langley. A person, identifying as a menstruator, encountered Barkat's slogan, "My body my choice," and passionately advocated for its universal application. This statement underscored the fundamental right to make choices about one's own body—a human right that history has often ignored, especially concerning menstruation. Barkat promptly added the pursuit of this universal recognition to its mission.

As the sun graced the horizon on the following morning, Barkat's merchandise was ready for its journey to KPU Surrey. The enthusiastic reception there affirmed that Barkat had found its target audience. Conversations flowed, and the longstanding stigma surrounding menstruation began to crumble. Two distinct extremes emerged in the discourse: some individuals reacted to a sanitary pad as if it were an explosive device, while others held menstruation in divine reverence. A thought-provoking question, "What cultural significance do periods hold?" surfaced during a questionnaire session, opening new dimensions of discussion, and encouraging a broader perspective on the issue.

The third and final day at KPU Richmond mirrored the enthusiasm witnessed on the previous days. People eagerly embraced the Barkat movement, signing up to participate in future events and volunteer their support. Collaborative brainstorming sessions among the Barkat team unveiled a wealth of innovative ideas and potential events that could shape the future. Team Barkat is resolute in its commitment to transform these ideas into reality, ensuring they receive the recognition they deserve.

Barkat's Co-Founder Muskandeep Kaur (left) handing over the Period-Care Hamper to Harleen Kaur Oberoi (right).

Barkat extends heartfelt gratitude to everyone who embraced their vision of destigmatizing menstruation. The team is wholeheartedly dedicated to translating these discussions and suggestions into tangible actions. A special acknowledgment is owed to the first volunteer, Vanshika Karla, for her unwavering support throughout the event. Kudos are also for the Kwantlen Student Association for providing a platform for Barkat to share its vision with the world. Barkat stands firm in its mission to drive positive change.

In a world where menstruation has been veiled in secrecy and shame for centuries, Barkat has emerged as a beacon of hope and empowerment. The resounding chorus of voices during the KSA Welcome Week demonstrated that the time has come to break free from the shackles of societal norms and embrace menstrual literacy as a vital and universally acknowledged facet of human rights.

As the days pass, Barkat remains steadfast in its mission to dismantle the stigma surrounding menstruation, educate, and advocate for change. With every new supporter, every innovative idea, and every event, Barkat moves closer to realizing a world where menstruation is understood, respected, and celebrated. The journey is ongoing, but with the unwavering commitment of Team Barkat and the support of a growing community, the vision of a more enlightened and inclusive world is well within reach.

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