The Tampax and Tea ad was banned in July as a result of only 84 complaints. It is maddening to think that anyone could call Tampons and Tea demeaning to women yet have no issue with the majority of unrealistic adverts for menstrual products.
Covid-19 has aggravated existing societal inequalities. One issue which has been brought to light is that of period poverty. Period poverty exists and is exacerbated by Covid-19 and the virus has revealed the cracks in our system. One of these cracks is the lack of support and supplies for people who have periods.
The commercialisation of women’s sanitary products has contributed to the unhelpful notion that a period is inherently wrong in some vague, grimy sense. This completely natural experience is presented as strictly ‘women’s business’; something which must be hidden from society at all costs. It is a problem urgently requiring a solution.
Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.
The fight to de-stigmatise women’s bodies is enduring and one ever-present battle is the stigma surrounding periods and menstruation.