A period emoji is finally on its way and it’s about time

That only took two years...

What did we do before emojis? We can’t remember, with emoticons now able to illustrate every aspect of our lives – well, almost.

While the avocado and the ginger haired emojis have finally landed in our keyboards, there are still some very important icons missing.

From transgender emojis to period icons, people have been campaigning for important symbols to break down stigma, and today it seems we took a step forward.

As of this week it has been announced that the period emoji, shaped like a blood drop, has received the go-ahead and is expected to land in smartphone keyboards worldwide this spring.

A period emoji is a long time coming, with over 55,000 people calling for the icon to be added to the global emoji keyboard last year, with Plan International UK leading the campaign.

Why? To help break down the silence, stigma and taboos surrounding periods, with Plan’s findings revealing a need for more accessible ways of talking about menstruation.

‘The inclusion of an emoji which can express what 800 million women around the world are experiencing every month is a huge step towards normalizing periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them,’ announced Lucy Russell, Head of Girls Rights and Youth at Plan International UK.

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‘For years we’ve obsessively silenced and euphemized 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.’

‘A period emoji can help normalize periods in everyday conversation,’ agreed Carmen Barlow, Digital Strategy and Development Manager at Plan International UK. ‘For an organisation like Unicode to recognize that menstruation should be represented in this new global language is a huge step towards breaking down a global culture of shame around periods.’

While there has been dispute over the icon itself, there’s one thing everyone can agree on – this is definitely a step in the right direction.

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