Period stigma is very real in Irish society, even in 2022. But what is period stigma? Why does it exist? And what can we do to prevent it?
What is period stigma?
Period stigma is defined as "a broad term for the discrimination faced by people who menstruate."
How does period stigma happen in Ireland?
A Plan International study found that "nearly 60 per cent of young women and girls said school does not inform them adequately about periods."
This lack of education leads to stigma surrounding periods, as we're taught it's something to keep a secret, to be ashamed of.
The same Plan International study also found that "six out of ten young women reported feeling shame and embarrassment about their period, 61 per cent miss school on their period and more than 80 per cent said they did not feel comfortable talking about their periods with their father or a teacher." Because people don't feel they can talk about their period, there is a lack of accessibility to adequate period care.
In a 2019 motion Deputy Catherine Martin stated "The grim reality is that women in Ireland suffer from stigma and shame around menstruation."
What can be done about period stigma?
At Monthlies, we want to do our bit to de-stigmatise periods, by sharing informative posts and creating a safe space for us to talk about our periods, we'll be getting them for around 40+ years after all!
We'll also be donating a % of profits to help tackle period poverty in Ireland.