Today, Unicode – a California-based organisation that manages the distribution of emojis – has released a blood drop emoji as well as a ton of other inclusive designs (think hearing aids, wheelchairs, guide dogs and prosthetic limbs.)
The news comes after years of campaigning carried out by Plan International, with more than 55,000 people across the UK and Australia petitioning for it to be added to the global keyboard for smartphone users.
Their research also established a definitive need to break the taboo around menstruation. Their survey of women aged 18-34 showed half (47%) believed a period emoji would make it easier for them to talk about their flow with female friends and partners.
Susanne Legena, CEO of Plan International Australia, says the move has been a long time coming.
“We are so thrilled to see this emoji finally available on our smartphone keyboards,” she said. “For too long, periods have been obsessively silenced and euphemised. We know that this has a terrible impact on girls in particular, ranging from girls feeling embarrassed to talk about their periods with their peers, to girls missing school for fear of being shamed, to girls suffering serious reproductive health problems.”
“The issue of period stigma is a serious one and while an emoji isn’t going to solve this on its own, it will help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it."