A period emoji has been given the green light and is due to hit smartphone keyboards in early 2019, giving women and girls a much-needed new way to talk about their periods.
Unicode – the California-based organisation that manages the distribution of emojis – has confirmed that the blood-drop shaped emoticon will be rolled out on smartphone keyboards worldwide as early as autumn.
It comes after more than 55,000 people called for a period emoji to be added to the global emoji keyboard last year, in a campaign led by global girls’ rights organisation Plan International to help break down the silence, stigma and taboos surrounding periods.
Research from Plan International revealed a clear need for more accessible ways of talking about menstruation. A survey of women aged 18-34 found half (47%) believed a period emoji would make it easier for them to talk about their periods with female friends and partners.
Hayley Cull, Advocacy & Community Engagement Director at Plan International Australia, said:
“The inclusion of an emoji which can express what 800 million women around the world are experiencing every month is a huge step towards normalising periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them.
“For years we’ve obsessively silenced and euphemised 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.
“An emoji isn’t going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it.”