Global V Taboo Tracker is our ongoing research project, designed to better understand taboos around wombs, periods, and vulvas. Because understanding is critical to making change. We are committed to creating a new world, one where every woman can live the life that she wants by breaking the taboos that hold her back.

And this report isn’t a one-time thing. It isn’t a trend. Instead, it’s a long-term commitment to inform, inspire, and impact the conversation surrounding women’s V-Zone.

Why talking about taboos matters

Before we can dismantle taboos, we need to understand them. We need to know what work still needs to be done, and how much work there is left to do. The GVTT helps to uncover what taboos around the V-Zone exist globally, how these taboos compare between men and women, and the challenges and opportunities in breaking them down.

The numbers don’t lie

Don’t just take our word for it. When we say that period-related taboos still exist, we’ve got the data to back it up.

Our first GVTT report identified several themes including pain, pleasure, motherhood, ageing and menopause

42% of women agree that when a woman enters menopause, people start to see her as old
Nearly half of both men and women think period sex is gross
1 in 6
1 in 6 think that women shouldn’t complain about the pain they experience during their period

Painful conversations

And speaking of pain… Even though periods are a regular part of a woman’s lived experience, only two out of every five give women have discussed them with their partners. This not only affects the way that we view menstruation, period blood, sex, and menopause. It also influences how women talk about the pain and discomforts that they feel in their V-Zone.

According to the GVTT Report, men and women still hold harmful ideas that perpetuate period stigma

16% of women (and 19% of men) think that women “shouldn’t complain” about the pain they experience during their period.
51% of women (and 52% of men) think that period pain is just something that women “have to deal with”.

Women experiencing cramps, low energy, and other symptoms of period pain is an accepted reality for both women and men globally. Yet people often insinuate that women should smile through the pain and go on with their daily routines as normal. How can we break taboos regarding this hurt if we don’t talk about it? Or worse, if we dismiss it as something that women simply have to put up with?

Good things are coming: Areas of progress in 2020

But it’s not all bad news. In fact, many people would agree that we’re heading in the right direction. According to our numbers, the current landscape showcases many areas of hope and progress. Slowly but surely, women are beginning to embrace their bodies and are working towards normalizing period conversations that were previously considered taboo.

We have a long way to go. But our reports prove that together, we're headed in the right direction

66% of women agree that periods are being normalized in period ads.
72% of women agree that women have become more body positive.
84% of women agree that they shouldn’t feel shame for wanting pleasure during sex.

                             Read the Global GVTT Report here

Share your #WombStories

If you’re going through any of the experiences touched on by this GVTT Report, whether you’ve experienced period shame, prejudices around menopause, pressure to be a mother, or lack of discourse around female pleasure… If you’ve had your period pain dismissed, or if these issues have affected you in any other way, we’d love to hear from you.  

Go to our #wombstories archive project to share your story.