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Water & Sanitation

42% of US Women Have Been Period-Shamed and 29% Won’t Do This Activity

Here’s a stat to get your blood boiling: 42% of US women say they have experienced period-shaming by men.

A survey of 1,500 US women commissioned by “period-proof underwear” manufacturer Thinx revealed that nearly 60% of women feel embarrassed when they menstruate, due in large part to pervasive taboos and the attitudes of men.

Bloody hell.

Take Action: #ItsBloodyTime World Leaders Prioritize Menstrual Hygiene for Girls’ Education

The survey also revealed that about three-quarters of women hide their tampons and sanitary pads when they head to the bathroom for a change. Another 29% said they have cancelled plans — especially exercise — because they don’t want their period to be inadvertently exposed.

Global Citizen campaigns on ending period taboos and ensuring access to pads, tampons, and other menstrual health resources for every girl and women in the world. You can take action here.

“The culture surrounding menstruation must be changed, and it takes both women and men to make that happen,” Thinx said in a statement. “It starts with open, honest conversation, and continues with education that empowers women to feel aware of and comfortable with their bodies and flows.’

Menstruation stigma dates back centuries and crosses cultures. Societies have labeled periods as unclean — or even toxic — and have used the taboos to justify the oppression of women.

Read More:  This Pad Ad Shows Period Blood as It Is. Here's Why That's Very Important

Read More: Blood, Sweat, and Cheers — 2017 Was the Year of the Period Thanks to These Activists

Fortunately, activists in the US and around the world are fighting to shred menstruation taboos and counter the narrative that periods are somehow unnatural or otherwise worthy of shame.

NFL offensive lineman Joshua Garnett has teamed up with his sister to normalize menstruation and provide free pads and tampons to homeless women and other activists, including Chelsea Clinton, have pressured governments to end the ridiculous “tax on blood.”

Their efforts are helping ensure that no woman has to cancel a swim, disguise their tampons, or feel embarrassed while purchasing pads at the supermarket.