21:28 GMT28 October 2020
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    A realistic period emoji would help facilitate conversation about a topic that many girls and women, among others, have a difficult time talking about, Plan International Finland said. However, a particularly graphic variant has already been discarded.

    Internationally, many girls cannot go to school during their periods and appropriate hygienic products aren't available worldwide. Focusing on the issue of gender equality, the womens' rights organization Plan International Finland proposed a realistic emoji reflecting the topic of monthly bleeding still considered a taboo in many communities.

    "Every month, hundreds of millions of girls and women have their periods, so it should be the most natural thing and nothing to be ashamed of," Plan International Finland Secretary General Ossi Heinänen said in a press release. He also ventured that an intuitively understood emoji would make a conversation about this topic much smoother.

    The Finnish branch of Plan International referenced a recent survey carried out by their colleagues in the UK, where half of the female respondents aged 18-34 said it would be much easier to tell about their periods using a corresponding emoji.

    "Emojis are part of the digital language, and there must be symbols for all the things that are significant in users' lives. The fact that there is none for periods can be explained by the fact that most developers are men who have never thought about it," digital development expert Nora Lindström noted in Plan International Finland's press release.

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    Previously, Plan International developed five proposals for period emojis, with Brits and Australians subsequently voting for one consisting of a pair of panties with two symbolic drops of blood.

    ​However, the organization Unicode Consortium, which is responsible for the selection of emojis, didn't approve of the new addition. Now, Plan International has come up with a simpler version consisting of a large red drop, the Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet reported.

    "It's a shame that a realistic emoji was discarded. You get the feeling that you are not allowed to speak openly even in emoji language. On the other hand, there are emojis for vomit, and the poop emoji has even become a soft toy," Lindström said in the press release.

    ​Plan International is looking forward to getting an answer later this autumn.

    Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization which works in 71 countries across the world, in Africa, the Americas, and Asia to advance children's rights and equality for girls.

    emoji, women, period, Scandinavia, Finland
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