LONDON: A ‘period emoji’ on mobile devices could help break the taboo of menstruation, according to an international child rights group, which is pushing for an icon to help highlight the stigma that girls experience when they menstruate.

Menstruation is still taboo in many countries around the world, where it’s often considered embarrassing or shameful. Women refer to periods using some 5,000 euphemisms, such as “on the rag” and “Bloody Mary”, a 2016 survey of 90,000 people in 190 countries found.

“Girls and women have told us about the embarrassment and shame they suffer when it’s their period. We need to make it easier to talk about something that is part of everyday life,” said Danny Vannucchi, Plan International’s campaigns manager.

But that is something Plan International wants to change. The charity last week launched five ‘period emojis’ and invited the public to vote for their preferred icon. “We’re not saying that an emoji would solve all of these problems, but it will start a conversation,” Vannucchi said.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2017

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