New Zealand supermarket starts using the label ‘period’ on women’s menstrual products to battle ‘stigma’
- Words such as ‘sanitary’ or ‘personal hygiene’ carry stigma, supermarket claims
- Supermarket chain Countdown’s 180 stores will use word ‘period’ on products
- Countdown claim they are the first store world-wide to make the change
A New Zealand supermarket will use the label ‘period’ on menstrual products because words such as ‘sanitary’ or ‘personal hygiene’ carry a loaded stigma.
Such terms imply that periods are something to keep hidden or are unhygienic, according to supermarket chain Countdown.
Instead, the chain’s 180 stores will be the first world-wide to use the word ‘period’ to identify pads, tampons and menstrual cups, they claim.
Spokesperson Kiri Hannifin told The Guardian: ‘Words like ‘personal hygiene’ and ‘sanitary products’ give the impression that periods, which are an entirely natural part of life, are somehow something to hide to yourself, or that they’re unhygienic.’
They will also re-name ‘intimate hygiene’ products as ‘genital washes and wipes’.
A New Zealand supermarket will use the label ‘period’ on women’s menstrual products because words such as ‘sanitary’ or ‘personal hygiene’ carry a loaded stigma (stock image)
Co-founder of the New Zealand charity The Period Place Sarah Mikkelsen said: ‘It’s so political at the moment, taking a hardline approach around language.
‘So to see a big brand jump on a train that they haven’t really even been asked to jump onto is very cool, very inspiring.’
Earlier this month, it was announced that New Zealand schoolgirls are to be given free sanitary products as part of government’s fight against ‘period poverty’.
The roll out will begin in low socio-economic areas before being offered to all state and state-integrated schools on an opt-in basis next year.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said sanitary products were a necessity as too many young women were missing school because they couldn’t afford a tampon or a pad.
Such terms imply that periods are something to keep hidden or are unhygienic, according to supermarket chain Countdown (stock image)
‘We know that nearly 95,000 nine-to-18-year-olds may stay at home during their periods due to not being able to afford period products,’ Ms Ardern said.
‘By making them freely available, we support these young people to continue learning at school.’
A survey of 5,000 New Zealand woman by charity organisation KidsCan found some women were using toilet paper, newspaper or rags as they couldn’t afford proper sanitary products.