An India-based film on menstruation, titled Period. End of Sentence, has won the Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 91st Academy Awards.
Award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi has directed the short film, which was produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga's Sikhya Entertainment.
The documentary feature is set in Hapur village outside Delhi, where women lead a quiet revolution as they fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation. For generations, these women did not have access to sanitary pads, which lead to health issues and girls dropping out of schools.
When a sanitary pad vending machine is installed in the village, the women learn to manufacture and market their own pads, empowering their community. They name their brand "FLY".
The story is a grim reminder of one of the many obstacles that millions of women face in the world.
While accepting the award, Rayka Zehtabchi, with fellow producer Melissa Berton, said, "A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education!” Rayka added, “I’m not crying because I’m on my period, or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”
They also thanked Guneet Monga for empowering women all over the world fight for menstrual equality.
"WE WON!!! To every girl on this earth... know that you are a goddess... if heavens are listening... look MA we put @sikhya on the map," Monga tweeted after the win.
Interestingly, 'Period. End of Sentence' was released the same year as Akshay Kumar's Padman, which revolves around the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as sanitary pads' inventor.
The Oscars were held in Los Angeles Sunday night - Monday morning for India.