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“Period shaming”: if your period becomes a problem

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“Period shaming”: if your period becomes a problem

For Italian women, especially if residing in cities with fewer than 250 thousand inhabitants, the relationship with your cycle is not easy. In particular, although 2 out of 3 Italians (72%) say they feel free to talk about it, among girls aged between 16 and 18 this percentage drops to 61%. Furthermore, one in 3 would even feel embarrassed in admitting that they have their period. This was revealed by a study conducted by mUp Research on behalf of Initiala company specializing in hygiene services and solutions, which involved a representative sample of both men and women of 1,607 Italians aged between 16 and 60.

In particular, 27% of teenagers would have been victims of so-called ‘period shaming’a form of bullying linked to the female cycle. The people who mocked them were men in 65% of cases and women in 35%. Again in terms of gender, 2 out of 3 interviewees (66%) believe that men have difficulty relating to the menstrual cycle. In fact, 26% of Italians would not feel comfortable talking about it, 17% would never discuss the topic and 9% would carefully avoid it. This situation would be accentuated among the youngest.

To sharpen the female discomfort would also contribute to theincrease in the so-called ‘tampon tax’, that is, the increase in the VAT rate applied on sanitary pads, which went from 5% to 10%, and the poor accessibility to sanitary pads outside the home. Considered unfair by both women (82% of the female sample) and men (71% of the male sample), the increase in the ‘tampon tax’ would weigh considerably on women’s monthly shopping basket, especially if they reside in southern Italy and the islands (76%). The initiative of Initial to install vending machines ‘outside the home’, typically inside women’s bathrooms, goes, finally, in the right direction of offering support solutions for cycle management in all situations.

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