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Periods

Jo Brand shares her funniest period story with us for World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Our new poll this week shows that a third of women in the UK are too embarrassed to talk about their periods.1 This seems pretty shocking to me. Periods are natural - they affect approximately half the population at some point in their lives - but yet there is still stigma and shame attached to them. So this Menstrual Hygiene Day (Saturday 28th May) we’re saying: let’s talk periods! And what better way to kick-start this conversation than to get some of our favourite celebrity supporters to share their funny first period stories?

Our 'period' period posters are busting taboos around periods for World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

It’s that time of the month again - well, actually it’s that time of the year. On Saturday 28th May it’s Menstrual Hygiene Day, and to mark it we've reimagined five vintage posters to highlight period myths and taboos that women and girls still face today. From girls we work with who are told that if they cook with salt on their period they'll make their teeth fall out, to women in the UK who still can't talk about taking sick leave because of their period, we want to bust these myths across the world.

Jeanne, 14, from Rwanda holds sanitary towels provided by ActionAid.

What stops a girl in Africa from going to school? Is it a lack of books and uniforms? Or the lack of a safe path to school? It could be any of these things. But there is another, rarely talked about, problem that can bring girls’ education to a screeching halt: the simple lack of a sanitary towel when she has her period. One in 10 girls in Africa miss school when they have their period. At ActionAid we recognise that sanitary towels are not trivial, nice-to-have items – they are essential tools in the fight against poverty and injustice. To mark World Menstrual Hygiene Day this Saturday, find out more about what we're doing to support girls and why #menstruationmatters. 

We distribute sanitary kits like this to women in emergencies. This kit is for a refugee woman on Lesvos.

Why everyone's talking about periods

Posted in Blogs 3 years 1 month ago

‘The blob’, ‘Aunty Flow’ - whatever you call periods, this week they've been all over the news, and it's about to be all over your Facebook timeline too. At last, we're talking about the fact that half (or thereabouts) of the population of the world bleed out of their private parts once a month. About time too.

Girls like 14-year-old Geeta in Nepal face being banished from home every month when they have their period

Why stigma makes periods even more painful

Posted in Blogs 10 months 1 week ago

“I’m on my period.” Four words describing a perfectly natural bodily function that we very rarely hear being said aloud in public. Why? It’s because of a misogynistic myth that a bleeding woman’s or girl’s body is somehow impure and must be hidden away.

Sally Dynevor and her daughter visit Reena, one of the girls they sponsor through ActionAid in India.

The world I want to pass on to my kids

Posted in Blogs 10 months 2 weeks ago

As part of our #NotThisGirl appeal, star of Coronation Street Sally Dynevor writes about the injustices girls worldwide face and what she hopes will be achieved for the next generation.