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Let's break the period taboo


Let's break the period taboo

Back in 2017, we ran a survey in the UK and discovered just how much shame and stigma still impact girls’ and women’s experiences of having their period – affecting their ability to even talk to friends and family about the fact they menstruate every month.

With emoji becoming one of the fastest growing global languages, we realised having a period emoji could help change things. We created five designs, and a phenomenal 54,600 of you showed your support and voted for your favourite: our period pants, which we submitted to the Unicode Consortium (the official body that manages emojis worldwide).

Sadly, the design didn’t get accepted. But, unwilling to give up, we teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant and submitted a new proposal for a blood drop emoji (the runner up design in our public vote) to be included on keyboards everywhere – and we’re thrilled to announce that, with your amazing support, it’s now appearing on phones everywhere!

Share the good news!

Let everyone know there's a period emoji!

Why having a period emoji matters

menstruation illustration

of UK girls

have had to use toilet roll because they can’t afford proper sanitary products

menstruation illustration

of girls

in the UK aged between 14 and 21 are embarrassed by their periods

Classroom illustration

Almost 70% of girls

in the UK aren’t allowed to go to the toilet during school lesson time

Break the barriers

"We should be made to talk about periods instead of hiding them away. I don’t think it’s something we should be ashamed of." - Kelsey, 14, UK

Our period emoji campaign is just part of our work tackling the shame and stigma that surround periods in the UK, and around the world. 

Based on the findings from our first-of-its-kind report, Break the Barriers: Girls’ Experiences of Menstruation in the UK, we’re committed to listening to girls and other menstruators and putting their voices first, and transforming their experience of their periods through our Menstrual Manifesto.  

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Putting an end to period taboos

“I did not know what was happening to me and what I could do to stop the bleeding.” – Agnes, 16, Uganda

It’s not just in the UK that periods are surrounded by shame and stigma. Around the world, not talking about periods is having a huge impact on girls, making them feel ashamed of their bodies, affecting their sense of self-worth and leaving them without the knowledge they need when they get their first period.

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