Every day, more than 800 million girls and women between 15 and 49 have their period – yet the subject is still surrounded by stigma and taboo.

In the UK, 67% of women admit to adapting their lifestyle every month to try and avoid an awkward #perioddrama – including leaks, getting caught short without a toilet nearby and having to hide tampons and sanitary towels on their way to the loo.

Meanwhile, around the world, girls and women face all kinds of menstruation myths, from being forbidden from drinking milk or touching plants to getting banished from their homes for the duration of their monthly bleeds – putting their education and their safety at risk.

And it’s not just stigma and taboo that make life a struggle every month.

Right now, one billion women and girls still lack access to the most essential of facilities during their period: a decent toilet.

These are circumstances no woman should have to face. Which is why we need you to make sure the UK Government meets the commitment made in the Global Goals – to ensure everyone has a safe, private place to go to the toilet.

Sign our Toilets Save Lives petition >

A world of taboo and stigma

A still from WaterAid's #PeriodDrama film for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2016.

10 worst period dramas

Cramps, cravings and awkward menstruation moments have been around for centuries. Don’t believe us? These well-known characters might just make you think otherwise…

A man holds a packet of 'manpons'

If men had periods

What would life be like if men had periods? We think it would be very different – and a million miles from the shame and stigma girls and women face every month.

15-year-old Sushma photographs herself in Sindhuli, Nepal.

Shame, secrecy and seclusion

In Nepal, the lives of Sushma and her friends are turned upside down when they have their period. Here, they use cameras for the first time to capture their experiences.

News and blogs on period taboos

View all news >