Why We Need to End Period Shame and Talk About Menstruation In Schools with Alice Smith of Endometriosis UK
Alice Smith is the 23 year old Trustee and Young Ambassador for Endometriosis UK causing a well deserved stir in education.
The UK Government is reviewing what should be taught in Sex & Relationship and PSHE lessons in England, and Alice thinks it's about time that menstrual wellbeing made it on the agenda. 14% of menstruators are starting their periods in the UK without knowing what they are and 1 in 4 said they did not feel they knew what to do when they started their period*. This is a big problem. If young people aren't being sufficiently educated about what to expect from an 'average' period, how will they know when something's wrong?
Alice and Endometriosis UK have launched a petition to get menstrual wellbeing taught in schools. They want the stigma and shame of periods to be broken, and for all pupils to understand what's 'normal' and what's not when it comes to menstruation, so people can recognise sooner the signs and symptoms of endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids and other menstrual related conditions sooner.
I chatted to Alice about the petition, their social media campaign, her own experience of menstrual education in school and what we all can do to make a difference to future generations and end period shame.
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Campaign hashtag: #whatiwishilearned
*Stats from Plan International's Break The Barriers Report