All around the world, millions of people experience their period on a daily basis. However, it is clear that there is a huge gap in the education and knowledge surrounding menstrual health.
Wigan Youth Zone are challenging the stigma surrounding periods and reinforcing the message that periods are nothing to be ashamed of.
A lack of information leads to stigmas and results in young women experiencing shame and embarrassment for a completely normal and natural process. Studies have shown that 37% of women in the UK had experienced bullying surrounding their periods, with 77% of these incidents happening within schools.
Another study has shown that 80% of adolescent girls in the UK have experienced concerning menstrual symptoms, with 27% reporting that they were too embarrassed to discuss their issues with a professional.
Wigan Youth Zone are introducing a new initiative to educate their members on the importance of menstrual health and feminine hygiene.
Daisy Grimes who runs The Period Project at Wigan Youth Zone said:
“I recognised the importance of period stigma whilst undertaking external study. The period project was something I devised to break down the taboo, and provide appropriate information, advice and guidance to normalises menstrual health for young people.”
“The Period Project” is a weekly session where members can discuss and learn more about periods. It aims to break the stigmas and stereotypes that often surround menstruation, while allowing young people to engage in meaningful educational sessions in a positive and light-hearted environment.
This weekly group aims to educate young people on period poverty, how to safely and correctly use period products, normal and abnormal symptoms and more. The goal is to ensure that young women can take charge of their own menstrual health in order to keep themselves safe and healthy.
The session will also cover how certain medications and hormones can effect menstruation, which is particularly important for members who identify as transgender.
As well as receiving an education, young people who attend will also receive free period products as part of the programme to ensure that they are well prepared to tackle their period.
This programme is not limited to young women as education is important for all people. The group is open to any young person who would like to broaden their knowledge and learn more about their own, or the opposite anatomy.
One young person from Wigan Youth Zone said:
“I think the period project will be good as there’s currently a bit of stigma around periods. So, I think it would be a good project to get rid of the stigma and educate more young people about periods and make more teenage girls more confident about periods.”
It is hoped that with initiatives such as the period project, young people will feel confident in discussing issues that affect them on a daily basis. Breaking stigmas and providing facts and education is a key stepping stone into ensuring our youth can thrive and succeed without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.