Comedian Grace Campbell and her father, journalist Alastair Campbell are encouraging people to open up and talk about periods through a series of amusing and endearing films they have created with NGOs End Water Poverty and WaterAid.
In the three films, the pair completes a period quiz, explore euphemisms and taboos around the world, and discuss their own education on the subject.
According to a WaterAid survey, a quarter of British women feel too embarrassed to chat to their dads about period pain or PMT, while only a third of Brits would be happy to talk to anyone about their menstrual cycle. This lack of open discussion is likely to have contributed to the fact that 1 in 8 women in the UK didn’t know about periods before menstruating.
Globally, one in three people have no access to a decent toilet. Together with the stigma that often surrounds periods as well as a lack of knowledge of menstrual hygiene and access to sanitary products, this can keep girls from school and affect women’s ability to work.
The films are aimed at helping encourage people to open up about periods to help tackle the taboos and discrimination and ensure women and girls everywhere can manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.
Grace, known for highlighting sexual bias through her comedy, said:
“The silence and taboos around periods mean that there isn’t enough of a debate about toilets and water facilities being accessible to everyone. This needs to change. Let’s talk about periods.
“We need to be talking to our fathers, boyfriends, brothers, bosses and friends about periods. If we want to smash the taboos and end period poverty, we need to make it a totally normalised part of our dialogue.”
“One thing I’ve learnt – by having a daughter who is active in this area – is that period poverty is real and it’s an issue that has to be addressed. We’re not going to address it if we don’t just open up a bit.”
WaterAid and End Water Poverty are working towards a world where women and girls everywhere have a decent toilet, clean water, a good understanding of menstruation, and access to suitable hygienic materials to manage their periods.
Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive at WaterAid, said:
“Every day, around 288 million women are on their period; it’s a perfectly normal part of life. Yet, menstruation remains shrouded in silence and stigma, and one in three women and girls have no access to toilets to manage their periods. This means many women and girls are restricted from certain activities, often missing school and other opportunities as well as putting their health at risk. This shouldn’t be normal.
“Us men need to play our part in opening up the conversation, both within and outside our families so we can understand and support girls and women and change the way periods are viewed here and around the world.”
“We appreciate the support of Grace and Alistair through these endearing films and we hope they will get people talking about periods across gender and generation.”