STICKING IT TO PERIOD SHAME
Have you ever thought about the difference between a plaster and a sanitary pad? They both do a similar job. Yet every month, girls are expected to hide their pads away – while no-one thinks twice about putting on a plaster.
SHAME AND STIGMA IN THE UK
“I do feel like there’s a stigma around the topic of periods. If people spoke about periods more without the stigma, it could help a lot of people.” - Jess, 17, UK
Stigmas surrounding periods affect girls everywhere. In the UK, 48% of girls feel embarrassed by their period, and 49% have missed school when menstruating. Our research also shows major gaps in what girls are being taught: one in seven girls in the UK aged 14 to 21 didn’t know what was happening when their period started*.
Growing up a girl: Uganda
My First Period: a photo story
Confined indoors for seven days. Banned from using salt in food. Forced to miss classes at school.
Nine girls from around the world bravely open up about the stigmas and difficulties they faced when they got their first period.
ENDING THE SILENCE AROUND PERIODS IN SPORT
“As athletes we are encouraged to understand what is happening to our bodies and how best to deal with it, but for a lot of girls around the country, this isn’t the case. There is no shame in periods, it’s a natural thing and it shouldn’t stop us going on to achieve what we want to achieve.”
- Magdalena Eriksson, Chelsea Ladies Football Club
Breaking the barriers for girls
With your support, we’re working with girls around the world to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene, shattering stigmas and helping girls stay in school when they get their period. We’re constructing girl-friendly toilets in schools and communities and increasing access to sanitary products, so girls no longer have to use unhygienic materials. And we're engaging boys and men, so they’re more likely, as breadwinners and decision-makers, to spend money on sanitary products for their families.
*Our survey was carried out by Opinium, who polled 1,000 young women aged between 14 and 21.