Her Haq empowers women by promoting menstrual hygiene, financial and legal literacy

Her Haq is a youth-led NGO in Delhi that works towards gender equality and women empowerment.

Her Haq empowers women by promoting menstrual hygiene, financial and legal literacy

Thursday May 25, 2023,

5 min Read

From a young age, Aanya Wig observed her mother juggle multiple responsibilities—a job, household, bills, taxes—with ease, which is why Wig internalised the belief that women can accomplish anything they set their minds to. 

This belief became integral to how Wig viewed the world as she transitioned from childhood to adulthood.However, as she matured, she realised that society did not share the same perception of women’s capabilities that she had held so close to her. Wig found that gender biases, stereotypes, and systemic barriers hindered women from fully realising their potential.

Driven by her own experiences and a burning desire for change, Wig embarked on a mission to foster a more inclusive society for women. Along with her friend Soumya Singhal, she started Her Haq, a youth-led NGO in Delhi that works towards gender equality and women empowerment.

“I decided that the only thing I want to do is to make sure the world looks at women the same way I do. That’s how Her Haq was born,” Wig tells HerStory.

Empowering women

Her Haq

Wig grew up wanting to be in a profession that could leave some impact on society. From a lawyer and journalist to a police officer, she dreamt of it all. However, with time, she realised that she could still drive change without working in these fields.

After joining Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, in 2018, Wig started to fulfill her dream of bringing about a positive change for women. Soon she started a youth collective, the Girls Up Rise initiative, in 2019, under the aegis of the United Nations Foundation, which focused on promoting menstrual hygiene among women.

Her passion for working for menstrual hygiene management and raising awareness about it began as she realised that there was a lack of education and sensitivity around the topic.

“Period poverty is an important issue in the country but it is hardly discussed. The problem is not just the lack of access to menstrual products, but also the lack of awareness about periods,” Wig says. She continued working for the programme until September 2022; however, after that, she wanted to turn the youth collective into a full-fledged NGO and expand its work areas, leading her to establish Her Haq. 

Now Her Haq works on three pillars: menstrual hygiene management, legal, and financial literacy. The NGO conducts offline workshops across Delhi to spread awareness around menstrual hygiene. These workshops discuss periods, what women need to use to maintain hygiene, myths, and stigma around periods, and reproductive issues such as PCOS and endometriosis. 

“We also include interesting games in the workshop based on topics like puberty, periods, etc., to make these workshops fun,” Wig says.

Under their #SpotTheStigma campaign, launched on 8 March 2021 under Girl Up Rise, they provided women with sanitary absorbents and menstrual education. So far, they have distributed more than 10,000 sanitary napkins. 

Wig, who started earning at 18, believes that it is essential for women to manage their finances independently and be aware of their legal rights. 

“Nobody told me how to file taxes, where to invest my money, or something as basic as what is a fixed deposit or how I need to plan my future. Mostly, women depend on the man of the house to do these things, but it is high time that women have more control over their earnings so they can plan their future,” she says.

The NGO is also conducting offline workshops to spread legal and financial literacy among women. The NGO brings experts to conduct workshops on multiple topics, including personal finances, budgeting, tax planning, cybercrimes, and sexual harassment laws. They also conduct seminars regarding applying for student loans and scholarships for the youth.

With the help of more than 80 volunteers, the NGO has reached out to more than 500 menstruators. In March, the NGO conducted a POSH workshop in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States in Delhi.

Facing roadblocks, one at a time

Her Haq

Wig recalls that when she started working around menstrual hygiene, she received mixed responses from people.

“Some people were so receptive and open to discussing menstruation; however, I also faced resistance from people. Some of the schools that I approached refused me to take workshops as they did not think periods to be a topic that should be discussed openly,” Wig says.

In addition, Wig also encountered situations where numerous people took her initiatives as a mere side hobby, undermining her work's significance and potential impact. However, these roadblocks did not deter her from her path.

“If you aim to break the glass ceiling, be ready to be hurt by the glass as it will fall too,” she says.

With menstrual hygiene day near the corner, Wig plans to conduct an offline drive in Delhi and aims to distribute at least 800 sanitary pads.

“I want to create an ideal world where every woman is heard, and Her Haq is a small step towards bringing that dream to life,” she adds.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti