International Women’s Day – 7 Women Who Are Period Proud
March 8th should be every female’s favourite day; International Women’s Day made its first debut back in 1911 when over a million women AND men united, campaigning for women’s right to work, to be trained, to hold public office and to end gender discrimination. Moving on to present day, there has been a monumental change in society’s perception about women’s equality and although vast improvements have been made since the 1910’s, females still continue to be a rarity within the political or business sector and we’re STILL having to fight our battle with the gender pay gap.
Nevertheless, what we can celebrate is how far we’ve come and all the amazing women around the world (yes, that includes you)! At Periodical we love breaking stigma and talking about periods - “anything you can do, I can do bleeding” - but unfortunately talking about menstruating still carries a taboo and we’re in this day and age where topics like these should be spoken freely about with the feeling judged, uncomfortable or even embarrassed. So, we’ve put together a list of 7 inspiring and righteous women who have impacted the world of menstruation and aren’t afraid of the stigma that comes with it…
Image Credit: Hara The Label intermits featuring Kimbra Audrey
#1. Laura Coryton
Laura first launched her campaign “Stop Taxing Periods” back in 2014, aiming to abolish the tax on tampons. Her campaign went viral on social media, sparked protests and demonstrations which finally forced the UK government to listen after over 20 years of campaigning against tampon-tax. It wasn’t until last year that the tax on tampons were abolished (mega-YAY!), as before all sanitary products were still classed as non-essential, luxury items - WHAT!?
Although Laura was the founder of the campaign, if it wasn’t for the 320,000 supporters who campaigned and signed the petition, we would still be stuck with the majority of the country suffering in period poverty. This really is the perfect example of girl power!
Image Credit: BBC News
#2. Leona W. Chalmers
We’re travelling back in time all the way to 1937 for this fabulous female, we’re talking about Leona W. Chalmers. Leona is the brains behind the first commercial reusable menstrual product, the menstrual cup. Not just an inventor, Leona was a Jill of all trades, being an actress as well as a novelist during her lifetime.
We can thank Leona for the creation of the menstrual cup, which has led the way for many amazing reusable menstrual products we know and love today! Unfortunately, during that era it was almost impossible to sell the products, as the words “vagina” and “period” were prohibited to be used – could you believe it!? On the plus side, the almighty cup made a total comeback and to this day saves thousands of tampons and sanitary pads from going to landfill. If you're interested in switching up your menstrual products, Sea + Flo menstrual cups are now available at Periodical!
Image Credit: menstrualcup.co
Image Credit: Sea + Flo
#3. Paula Kragten
In 2014, "Period!" was created by Dutch journalist Paula. With many years of experience within the magazine industry, Paula couldn’t understand why there were magazines for rollercoasters, coin collectables and pretty much every single possible topic except a magazine covering the topic all women have in common: MENSTURATION. Then…"Period!" was born and brought into our world; the world’s first magazine dedicated solely to the topics surrounding menstruating.
"Period!" covers a multitude of topics that are both interesting and educational. Discussing all things vaginas, their website really is a must visit for any female.
#4. Rupi Kaur
The ‘owning your period’ queen, Rupi Kaur, a Canadian-based poet who is all about de-stigmatising the period taboo. In 2015, Rupi posted a photo to her Instagram of herself lying on a bed with a period stain on her trousers, this photo was removed not once but TWICE, but due to the social media uproar that followed, Instagram put her post back up and apologised.
Rupi struggled with her period as a young girl and was later diagnosed with endometriosis. Growing up, Rupi spent many times thinking about how much dread and hate her periods brought her, wanting to change her outlook she embraced the beauty of periods and decided to reframe and re-educate herself, she is now an advocate for celebrating the female body and our reproductive system – a true role model.
Image Credit: @rupikaur_
#5. Kiran Gandhi
For many women worldwide, when it’s your time of the month you probably avoid exercise like the plague but not for Kiran. In 2015, Kiran ran the London Marathon on her period WITHOUT any pads or tampons, resulting her to finish the marathon in her blood-soaked leggings (YOU GO GIRL!!). Kiran did this to break the stigma around menstruation and that we shouldn’t have to hide our periods and pretend they’re non-existent. Kiran also wanted to raise awareness for the millions of women who are affected by period poverty and can’t afford or access menstrual products. An icon, period.
Image Credit: Madame Gandhi Blog
#6. Ella Daish
Miss Daish is an activist and environmentalist (we love her already) who began her #EndPeriodPlastic campaign back in 2018 after becoming aware of the shocking statistics of plastic waste from menstrual products. Her petition currently has over 245,000 signatures and has already resulted in three UK retailers removing their plastic tampon applicators.
Ella isn’t stopping there, the period activist is currently campaigning for the 20% tax on period pants to be abolished alongside tampons and pads, as they’re currently regarded as a piece of clothing rather than a reusable period product, you can sign the petition here!
Image Credit: @elladaish1
#7. Lara Briden
Dr. Lara “The Period Revolutionary” Briden works as a naturopathic doctor, specialising in menstrual health over the last two decades. Currently based in Australia, Lara helps treat women who face severe PMS symptoms, polycystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid disease. In 2020, Lara published “Period Repair Manual: Natural Treatment for Better Hormones and Better Periods” with the aim to empower and educate women with information about their periods, with a focus on how your period is affected by your diet, contraception and why you should track your cycle, Lara also wanted to break down the misconceptions that have been fed to us over the years.
Image Credit: Happy Hormones For Life
Although there’s an infinite number of women that we haven’t mentioned in this blog, we are all equally magnificent and we should all be feminists (No, feminism is not a pejorative) and celebrate everyday like it’s International Women’s Day! Here at Periodical, we’re proud to celebrate our periods by creating comfortable and stylish period-wear that can be worn for any occasion, so all of us at Periodical want to wish you a Happy International Women’s