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#JustATampon: tackling the stigma surrounding periods

 

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The Plan UK has partnered with V Point News to challenge the taboo around menstruation, using the social media campaign #JustATampon to raise awareness and funds for vital menstrual health work.

“The stigma and embarrassment attached to women’s periods contributes to gender inequality worldwide,” states The Plan UK.

“Around the world, millions of girls face discrimination just for being girls. One way this manifests itself is through poor access to quality menstrual health and hygiene.”

While I thought that I suffered every month, feeling like a drug dealer whilst discreetly slipping tampons up my sleeve, The Plan UK reveals that “only 12 percent of girls and women have access to sanitary products around the world. And in Africa, one in ten girls miss school when they have their period”.

The Plan UK believe that this is just not good enough, and are asking for your help to both put an end to the stigma, and provide valuable feminine products to women in need.

They say “just £3 can provide a girl in Uganda sanitary towels for a year”. This is equal to around six Australian dollars, meaning that merely missing out on your coffee in the morning can help a girl in Uganda access safe and hygienic feminine products while avoiding the bullying and harassment that many often experience when menstruating.

“In Rwanda right now, we’re distributing sanitary and hygiene packs to girls and women fleeing political turmoil and fighting in neighbouring Burundi. In Uganda we’re supporting girls and women to make recyclable sanitary towels. In India, we’ve piloted a project where girls can get sanitary towels from an easily accessible and discreet vending machine.”

Closer to home, #JustATampon is providing a place for men and woman the break the taboo nature of periods, with Kate O’Sullivan of V Point News saying it is “a conversation. About all things period. A chance for people of any gender to ask questions and to ultimately encourage an environment where finding out a female friend or colleague is on their period isn’t “euurgh”, or “lookout *insert sexist joke*”, but is understood and respectfully acknowledged.”

All you need to do to join the campaign is take a selfie with a tampon, share it via social media using the hashtag #JustATampon, and donate £3 to Plan UK via their website. By doing so you will be helping to challenge the stigma surrounding periods, as well as contributing to the safety and wellbeing of women overseas.

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