Plan International UK are aiming to end menstrual stigma through the introduction of a ‘period emoji’.
In a survey conducted by the charity, half of women aged 18-34 believe that a ‘period emoji’ would make it easier to talk about their periods with female friends and partners.
Of those surveyed, two thirds of women don’t feel comfortable discussing their period with their dad or male friends. More than one in ten women don’t feel comfortable talking about it with their female friends.
Women also didn’t feel comfortable talking about periods at work, with a quarter not wanting to talk to their female peers and two thirds not wanting to speak to superiors.
To help to end the taboo around periods, Plan International UK has designed five icons that will be put to the public vote on social media. The winning designs will then be submitted to the California-based consortium that manages the distribution of emojis worldwide.
Ambrin, 14, from London, is on Plan International UK’s Youth Advisory Panel and she said, “I think a period emoji would really help periods to stop beingviewed as something that needs to be hidden.”
The campaign also has the backing of comedian Katherine Ryan and actor Sharon Horgan.
Speaking about the campaign, Lucy Russell, UK Girls’ Rights Campaign Manager at Plan International UK said, “The fact so many women in this country still find it difficult to talk to work colleagues, friends and family about their period shows that it remains a taboo subject and something women feel ashamed to discuss.”
“We know that these taboos can have a damaging impact on the lives of girls around the world.”
“Many missing school because they face bullying or unfair treatment, or experiencing infections due to a lack of menstrual hygiene education and products.”
“Women have told us that by having an emoji, it will make it easier for them to talk about periods with others and so that’s why this Menstrual Hygiene Day we’re addressing the need and creating something that everyone can use.”
“Hopefully this will go some way towards breaking down the stigma surrounding periods once and for all.”
You can support the campaign by voting for your favourite period emoji here.