Campaigners in south Wales says a period emoji which shows a drop of blood will help women and girls talk more freely about menstruation.
The emoji will be released next month after a campaign from women’s rights charity Plan International UK received support from more than 55,000 people.
Campaigners hope it will help end stigma surrounding menstruation, and make it easier for girls to discuss their periods with friends. The charity pushed for the emoji after a survey of women aged 18 to 34 revealed 47 per cent believed a period emoji would make it easier .
Founder of Welsh sustainable sanitary company Proud Pads, Laura Niehorster says that when women feel too ashamed to discuss their cycles, they can miss symptoms of health problems.
“The biggest challenge to ending stigma around periods is education. When we don’t talk about things, we don’t know what’s normal,” Ms Niehorster said.
“For example, you don’t know how long your period should last, or whether it’s normal to bleed between periods. The only way to know what’s healthy is by talking about it with other people, or by reading about it online. If there isn’t enough information publicised about it, we can’t know what’s healthy and what’s not healthy”.
Fee Bassett, from Cardiff-based organic tampons company TOTM, agrees.
“It’s only in the last few years we’ve discovered period poverty exists in the UK – and that’s because nobody was talking about it.
“It’s only last year we realised there was 90 percent of plastic in a pad. So you’re looking at health, you’re looking at environment, you’re looking at the distress at not being able to access period care.”