There will now be a period emoji in the next batch of emoji headed for your phone this spring, thanks to a joint 55,000 supporter-strong campaign created by Plan International UK, a children and girls advocacy organization, in partnership with NHS Blood Donation. It’s set to be available to use by March.
The Unicode Consortium approved the red blood droplet emoji to join the emoji lexicon this spring, something that Plan International hopes will help to destigmatize menstruation and normalize conversations about periods. Lucy Russell, Head of Girls’ Rights and Youth at Plan International UK, told TIME in a statement that she hopes the emoji will help to end shame for girls.
“The inclusion of an emoji which can express what 800 million women around the world are experiencing every month is a huge step towards normalizing periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them. For years we’ve obsessively silenced and euphemized periods. As experts in girls’ rights, we know that this has a negative impact on girls; girls feel embarrassed to talk about their periods, they’re missing out, and they can suffer health implications as a consequence.”
Russell also noted that emojis aren’t the only solution to the problem, but she considers it a start.
“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.”
See the new emoji below.
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We are thrilled to announce that we are officially getting the first ever #PeriodEmoji! 🎉 . In 2017, 54,600 of you voted to have a #PeriodEmoji. . It is through your support that we can now celebrate that the Unicode Consortium have announced that we will get our first ever #PeriodEmoji in March 2019. . We wouldn’t have been able to do this without our friends @givebloodnhs , who developed the proposal for the blood drop emoji with us 🙌