In order to have a nation of strong women, we need to empower our girls with the knowledge they need to grow into those strong women.
One of the fundamental needs is for girls to understand how their bodies works and more importantly their sexuality and sexual identity.
The Femmeprojects caught my attention when I spotted their vagina print T-shirts and panties.
Femmeprojects is an organisation that applies an intersectional and interactive approach to educating and empowering youth around areas including: Comprehensive sexual education, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, sexual and reproductive health and rights and all things to do with puberty.
I spoke to Loren Loubser, a member of the team, to find out more about this interesting T-shirt and the project.
Tell me more about the project and what was the motivation?
The project started based on our previous campaign of selling the anatomical vagina T-shirts. Those T-shirts sold really well and allowed us to run a mentorship, education and empowering workshop.
We started collaborating with Amrain Essop and wanted to create a bigger and more powerful campaign with more voices backing the campaign and more products for sale.
We created a series of videos as well, discussing menstruation, the lack thereof and experiences thereof, the vagina, the taboos, the good and the bad and advice we wish we had received.
This was filmed by Sarah Summers and edited by Kristen van Niekerk, it includes many voices of support from Sherlin Barendse, Palesa Kgasane, Denise Newman to us Femmeprojects founders.
The campaign goes beyond products and allows us to discuss our bodies and break the shame of something as natural as a period.
It's important to create a safe uplifting space on social media where most things seem negative and bashing and can be a cruel world. We wanted to use influence and platforms to open up the discussion.
More importantly, the campaign allows our projects to be possible.
What inspired the design of the T-shirts and panties?
The T-shirt print and panty print is a Lady Skollie design and is her famous "pussy print" sticking to our breaking the taboo and menstruation theme and a good follow on to our anatomical T-shirt. We were open to any design of Lady Skollie's and she encompasses what we teach and has been a mentor in our previous program and a great supporter of our work.
How has the project impact on the community?
The projects we run are so needed and well received because we create a fun and interactive space that is safe and allows learners to learn, discuss and grow without judgement. The learners we have worked with are so powerful we just act as a tool to allow them to access information, empowerment, skills and themselves.
What has the response been to the t-shirts?
The response to the new T-shirts have been great and the panties have been selling really well. Our T-shirts are always conversation starters and allow us to tell people what we do and what we stand for and encourage them to buy one as well.
* For more information about the team, the project and how you can get involved; check out their website www.femmeprojects.org.za