It seems silly that there’s still a stigma around the female’s period, and that an emoji will help reduce it. But unfortunately, that’s life. The Unicode Consortium has announced that there will be 230 new emojis coming soon to our, now, even smarter phones!
Experts believe the ‘period emoji’ will assist in the negative outlook on menstruation. This campaign was a result of a survey run by Global Girl’s Rights Charity Plan International UK in 2017. The survey found that 48% of girls in the United Kingdom aged between 14 and 21 are embarrassed by their period. Even enough to not want to talk about it with their family and friends. Can you believe it? Something as natural as a period? I can’t. Plan International UK’s head of girls’ rights Lucy Russell explains: “An emoji isn’t going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins talking about it”.
We are thrilled to announce that we are actually getting a #PeriodEmoji!
— PlanInternational UK (@PlanUK) February 6, 2019
In 2018, Plan International UK conducted a survey which found that the period stigma also exists in Canada. The survey found 83% of Canadian women feel their period prevents them from participating in certain activities. 70% of Canadian women have missed work or school, or have had to withdraw from activities.
Director of gender equality at Plan International Canada Saadya Hamdani pointed out: “Combined with cultural taboos and misinformation, period stigma is a form of gender discrimination that can cause emotion anxiety, and affect girls’ and women’s mental health”.
It’s The First Step, But There’s Plenty More To Go
The emoji is one of the fastest growing languages, and emojis can be a lot of fun, right? Maybe the seemingly frightening concept of menstruation won’t be so frightening anymore. That’s not even the worst part, in my opinion. The UK survey has found that 40% of girls have had to use toilet paper, because they cannot afford sanitary products. The survey also discovered that almost 70% of girls aren’t allowed to go to the toilet during school lessons. Now that’s a whole other kettle of fish to tackle…
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