This one-day event will encourage students aged 14-18 years, of all genders, to explore menstruation through the lenses of Te Ao Māori, sustainability, sport and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion.
The Hine O Te Kura Youth Symposium is a special event in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, helping to break down menstrual equity barriers to participation in sport and education. Menstrual equity is the balance of affordability, accessibility and safety of menstrual products, as well as education.
Being able to go to school every day and participate in physical activity is important for overall wellbeing. It provides a safe environment where children and young people can grow and learn, build social connections and a sense of belonging, and develop their potential.
It has long-term impacts for health, employment opportunities and life choices.
The Hine O Te Kura Youth Symposium will create a safe and open space for all young people to talk about their experiences, ask for help and support one another. This means talking about periods in a positive and empowering way in front of the whole group to normalise it, while respecting cultural norms.
The word ‘hine’ refers to females, wāhine, tamāhine (daughters), highlighting and celebrating their uniqueness when it comes to menstruation. On another level, hine is used as a reference to atua wāhine (female deities). These atua sit as tethers to the spiritual realm and guardians, whom women can be guided by as they wānanga and experience the different stages of their cycle.
‘Kura’ is another word with many meanings that adds layers to Hine o te Kura. Kura can be something precious or treasured. It can be used to speak of the colour red, linking to blood and ikura. It also highlights this kaupapa as an opportunity to learn, to be open-minded, and to engage in kōrero and wānanga around menstruation.
Whether you interpret Hine o te Kura as ‘Daughter of the Treasure’, ‘Guardians of the Treasure’, or even ‘Women of Learning’, all these titles hold significance and connect all genders to whakapapa through te whare tangata (the womb).