#JustATampon: Women and men take selfies with sanitary products to help break down the taboos around periods

As many as 800 million women between the ages of 15 and 49 are menstruating each day

Kashmira Gander
Monday 08 June 2015 15:15 BST
Comedian Jennie Eclair gets involved with the #JustATampon campaign
Comedian Jennie Eclair gets involved with the #JustATampon campaign (Twitter/Jennie Eclair)

Tired of the embarrassment surrounding periods, women and men sharing are photos of themselves clutching sanitary products alongside #JustATampon to mark International Tampon Alert Day, and to raise awareness of worldwide gender inequality.

International children’s charity Plan UK and news site VPoint launched the campaign to stoke a conversation about menstruation and break down taboos.

Anticipating the potential negative response to what is sometimes perceived as trivial or disgusting topic, the charity explained on its website: “the stigma and embarrassment attached to women’s periods contributes to gender inequality worldwide.

“Because it’s just a tampon - there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but just a tampon can change women’s lives.”

To put the campaign into perspective, approximately 800 million women between the ages of 15 and 49 are menstruating each day.

Those sharing photos are encouraging followers to text TAMPON to 70007 to donate £3 to Plan UK.

"Donations will help tackle discrimination faced by girls globally, not just around menstrual hygiene but other issues they face including child marriage and female genital mutilation," according to Plan UK.

Women including Channel 4 news reader Cathy Newman and presenter Carol Smilie have were among to join in with the effort.

Proving the point of the campaign, some were quick to show their disgust at the selfies, with Twitter user @robga replying to comedian Jenny Eclair's tweet with "Bit early for that!".

A video of a woman pretending to drop her tampons in public also reflected how periods are still a huge taboo for many people.

The footage shot by VPoints shows people laughing and cringing, with one man replying: "We'll never see you again don't worry".

Others, like a pair of builders and two tourists, calmly top to help the woman pick them up.

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