Period Emoji Win for Women’s Rights Charity
9 February 2019 at 12:00 pm
A period emoji is set to hit smartphone keyboards, following a successful campaign from an international women’s charity to break down the silence and stigma surrounding periods.
The campaign to get the blood drop emoji on the smartphone keyboard began after research from Plan International uncovered a need for easier ways for women and girls to talk about menstruation.
A survey by the group revealed out of 55,000 women aged 18-34, 47 per cent believed a period emoji would make it easier to talk about their periods to family and friends.
Hayley Cull, advocacy and community engagement director at Plan International Australia, said the inclusion of an emoji, which expressed what 800 million women around the world experienced each month, was a huge step towards normalising periods.
“For years we’ve obsessively silenced periods. As experts in girls’ rights, we know that this has a negative impact on girls; girls feel embarrassed to talk about their periods, they’re missing out, and they can suffer health implications as a consequence,” Cull said.
She said while the organisation knew an emoji wasn’t going to entirely fix the issue, it would help to start a broader conversation.
“Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it,” she said.
The emoji was approved by Unicode – the US based company in charge of emoji distribution – following a successful submission by Plan International UK and NHS Blood and Transplant.
Cull said for an organisation as large as Unicode to see the importance of including the emoji, was a definite positive.
“For an organisation like Unicode to recognise that menstruation should be represented in this new global language is a huge step towards breaking down a global culture of shame around periods,” she said.
“Emojis play a crucial role in our digital and emotional vocabulary, transcending cultural and country barriers. A period emoji can help normalise periods in everyday conversation.”