New period emoji available for iPhone users, advocates say it’s meant to end menstrual shame.


If you are an iPhone user , you might be wondering what the ‘drop of blood’ emoji stands for , are you ? A charity organisation called plan international began the debate wayback 2017 to include the drop of blood emoji on iPhone keyboards to help girls, women and other ‘menstrutors’ in ending the stigma that evolves around menstrual periods.

The online campaign got nearly 55,000 signatures with many supporters suggesting a red spot emoji on an underwear , a move rejected by unicorn consortium, an organisation that is tasked to approve emojis and later approving the ‘drop of bloods ‘ emoji which represents mestruation.

According to the UN’s education agency , in Kenya , one in 10 girls misses school during their periods. Some girls reportedly lose a greater percentage of their education for this same reason, which will cast doubts in their future and might force them to drop out of school altogether.

In North Eastern kenya, a predominantly somali inhabited area , the number is high and 40 % of school going girls fail to attend their classes in cases related to menstrual- a case narrated to Asal correspondent by one Abdi Abdirahman, a father of four who lives in Wajir town reveals how his class 7 daughter dropped out of school after she unknowingly menstruated in class –  she later refused to continue with her education for fear of stigma related to the earlier incident.

On sep 2019 , A 14-year-old schoolgirl in Bomet county took her own life after a teacher allegedly ridiculed her for having her period in class. The incident sparked uproar among female parliamentarians in the country and casted a spotlight on the need to revisit a 2017 bill requiring the kenyan government to distribute free sanitary pad to all school girls .

Wajir women representative Farhiya Ali Haaji (left) and Education CS Magoha (centre). / Farhiya/Twitter

At this century , when Emoji is the fastest growing global language, can the ‘drop of blood symbol’ play a critical role in creating awareness, should it help in bridging the gap . What is your opinion ?

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