SETTING THE AGENDA

Janet Mbugua podcast to tackle menstrual health

She believes it will reach a wider audience than her book

In Summary

• She realised there is much stigma that exists around menstruation

Media personality Janet Mbugua
Media personality Janet Mbugua
Image: Moses Mwangi

Among her many accomplishments, media personality Janet Mbugua counts publishing her book 'My First Time' as one of her most influential.

The project included conversations between men and women about menstruation.

It brought together more than 50 voices, who narrated their stories on the topic of 'menstruation', which to date is highly taboo but has a place in changing perceptions.

Speaking to Word Is, the Inua Dada founder said after she launched the book in 2020, she realised there is much stigma that exists around menstruation.

"I think one of the ways we can reduce the stigma is by sharing our stories since they create conversations and solutions and even highlight gaps," she said.

She launched her podcast based on stories shared from the book.

"I knew I was always going to have a podcast, which includes more stories from my book and others from African women."

Her podcast will focus on menstrual health. She said being in the media, a podcast will reach a wider audience.

"I am interested in us telling our stories than our story being told elsewhere."

Janet said starting a podcast requires discipline and dedication.

"Anyone can start a podcast from anywhere, that is easy. The harder part is having the content, the people to interview, and the space to record from if you don't want to record in your home.

"For me, the challenge was multitasking and playing the role of multitasking, given that I'm a mother and I needed to create time. Once it started, I have the urge to continue."

One topic she hopes to tackle is the element of menstruation in women behind bars.

"We cannot continue to de-prioritise menstrual health by all means. I also hope to bring an impact through storytelling and push through implementation by any means."

Janet said 'My First Time' also aims to reach out to corporate organisations for them to accommodate women at this time when they ask for a few leave days to manage the pain that comes with it.