Menstruation and Me



Event Info: Thursday April 11th

On Thursday, April 11th, from 6:15-7:45pm in Funger Hall Rm. 108, the Women’s Leadership Program will host a panel titled Menstruation & Me. The conversation will weave together student reflections on their experience of menstruation with responses from experts, examining the topic through lenses of global health, medicine, public policy, culture, and art. We will hear voices of menstruating people here in DC and in developing countries, from those who identify as women and those who do not. Several student orgs will be co-sponsoring the event, and Milken students can receive professional enhancement (PE) credit for attending. 

Current GW students, faculty, & staff can find the event and RSVP on GW Engage.
Alumni of Mt Vernon College & Seminary or the Women's Leadership Program can RSVP directly through WLP.

We kindly ask for all attendees to wear red in support of menstruators in this community.

Menstruation & Me panel, April 11, 2024, 6:15pm, Funger Hall 108




    A smiling woman with brown hair and light skin

    Dr. Marni Sommer

    Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN, is a professor at Columbia University, whose research focuses on improving the integration of menstrual hygiene management and gender-supportive sanitation solutions into global humanitarian response. Her particular areas of expertise include conducting participatory research with adolescents, understanding and promoting healthy transitions to adulthood, the intersection of public health and education, gender and sexual health, and the implementation and evaluation of adolescent-focused interventions. Her work has been recognized and acclaimed by her community, earning her the Marisa de Castro Benton Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Sociomedical Sciences and the Doctoral Dissertation with Distinction Honor, among other awards. 

    A smiling woman with brown hair and brown skin wearing a polka dotted sari

    Radha Paudel

    Nepalese nurse, author, activist and founder/CEO of the Global South Coalition of Dignified Menstruation, Radha Paudel continues to fight for the rights of menstruators around the globe, dignifying their lives in their homes, schools, and communities. Not only has she won the Madan Puraskar for her memoir Khalangama Hamala, but she also received the TripleA award from Asian Institute of Management,  the N-Peace Award and the Women Peace Maker Award. Along with developing the first training manual for menstrual dignity and garnering global recognition for her work in women's health, Radha remains an inspirational author and activist in sexual reproductive justice and human rights.

    Millie Adhikari

    Mili Adhikari

    Mili Adhikari is a 3rd year medical student at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and the co-founder and director of Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation, an international menstrual equity coalition. Within medicine, she is an aspiring OBGYN, though she currently practices as a public health researcher and a global health activist invested in leading positive, sustainable transformation in sexual and reproductive health care. Her passion for medicine and public health, particularly reproductive health, is rooted in Mili's desire to alleviate the widespread socio-health inequities disproportionately impacting historically marginalized communities and advance global equity. 

    Dr. Nancy Gaba

    Dr. Nancy Gaba

    Nancy D. Gaba, MD, FACOG, is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and currently serves as the Oscar I. and Mildred S. Dodek and Joan B. and Oscar I Dodek Jr. Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The George Washington University. She has gone on to win numerous other prestigious teaching awards including the Donald F. Richardson Faculty Award of Excellence and the ACGME Parker J Palmer Courage to Teach Award. Dr. Gaba enjoys caring for women across their lifespans, and believes that a strong doctor-patient relationship is necessary to the excellent care that all patients deserve. Dr. Gaba prides herself on her experience-guided, evidence-based approach to patients. She believes that it is an enormous privilege to be part of a woman's life in the special way that her patients allow her to be, and she takes that responsibility very seriously.

    A smiling young woman with brown hair and skin

    Manasa Sharma, moderator

    Manasa Sharma is a Nepalese-American junior pursuing a double major in Public Health and Dance with a minor in WGSS. Her passion for menstrual dignity ignited when she witnessed and faced menstrual stigmas in her own culture. Manasa works within the North American chapter of Dignified Menstruation and is a member of the Grass Roots On-site Work (GROW) team in GlobeMed at GW. Alongside her academic life, she performs in various dance showcases and competitions at GW and through the hip-hop team Capital Funk. Dance has enabled Manasa to explore ways that art intersects with aspects of public health. 




    Remarks from:

    Carly Jordan

    Dr. Carly Jordan

    Dr. Carly Jordan(she/her) became a member of the GW faculty as a Professor of Biological Sciences and the Science, Health and Medicine Cohort Program Coordinator in 2013, before eventually becoming the Women's Leadership Program Director in 2022. She is committed to actively engaging her students, using evidence-based approaches to teaching. She teaches biology for the Women’s Leadership Program as well as the University Honors Program, striving to create inclusive classroom environments and challenging courses. She also contributes to the scholarship of science education as an author of case studies and curriculum materials for use in biology courses. She is PI for BCEENET, the Biological Collections in Ecology & Evolution Network, whose mission is to connect educators and collection professionals to form collaborations supporting undergraduate education and research. 

    A woman with curly brown hair and brown skin smiles as she peers over her shoulder

    Dr. Jordan West 

    Jordan Shelby West, PhD (she, her, and hers) is the Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at GW. On a national level, Dr. West serves as a consultant to institutions of higher education and organizations to develop and facilitate pedagogy that engages students, faculty, staff, members, and senior administrators in meaningful, critical, and urgent conversations about identity, systems of power, privilege, and oppression, and our individual and collective roles in taking action to disrupt inequitable structures. Dr. West is actively involved with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), where she serves as an Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board member.


      Share Your Thoughts!

      We are gathering reflections on menstruation to guide the discussion for the panel. We are looking for short (1 minute or less) videos or text responses to a few questions, and/or participation in a 5 question quiz. Submissions are anonymous.

      Submission Link

      Menstrual Product Drive

      We are also be hosting a menstrual product drive for The Store, GW's student food bank.

      If you have any questions, please reach out to drive organizers Amanda Reed and Aapthi Kavuri.






      Coalition for Dignified Menstruation 

      The mission of the coalition is to dismantle institutional, structural, interpersonal, and social oppressive systems in place affecting menstruation, individuals who menstruate, and their ability to access basic inalienable human rights, critical resources to lead happy, and healthy lives, and obtain dignity. They strive to unite organizations, and individuals who share our vision of reclaiming dignity for each individual during menstruation and aim to transform the menstruation movement to center dignity.

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