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Say I’m menstruating, the emoji way

PW Bureau

Unicode, the consortium which distributes emoji across mobile devices, will introduce the period emoji — a drop of blood — next month New Delhi: In a world where emojis are used for virtually everything, ladies can now embrace womanhood with a new period emoji. Unicode, the consortium which distributes emoji across mobile devices, will introduce the period emoji — a drop of blood — next month. Emphasising inclusivity, the coding consortium announced the Emoji 12.0 update for the year, with the next list including 58 other symbols, along with variants for a total of 230 options.

‘Help change the conversation’

Plan International, a United Kingdom child rights group, started a social media campaign #PeriodEmoji to open up discussions about menstruation. Lucy Russell, head of the group, had pushed for the emoji for nearly two years. In a statement, she said, "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." The other symbols in the list comprise a mechanical arm, deaf person, people holding hands, yawning face, waffle, band-aid and an ice cube. Now, young women will be able to use this emoji to talk about their periods, which will help end the stigma around menstruation, the girls' rights group said. Menstruation still remains a taboo in many countries. In Nepal, the years-old Hindu practice of chhaupadi, where women are banished from their homes when they have their periods, has resulted in four deaths in recent weeks. According to the United Nations, one in 10 girls in Africa will miss school during their periods and will eventually drop out of school because of a lack of facilities.