Are shame and stigma holding us back from talking openly about taboo topics

‘Exciting’ change in Woolies aisles

Woolworths shoppers will see an "exciting" change in one of the supermarket's aisles from today after a major rebrand to a popular category.

The retailer is rebranding its feminine hygiene section to "period care" in a national effort to beat the stigma surrounding periods.

The move comes after Woolworths said it had a responsibility to make the change to help tackle "embarrassment around periods".

Woolworths managing director Natalie Davis said the supermarket was "excited" to roll out the change in all stores in Australia in the months ahead.

The new signage is already visible across Woolworths digital platforms.

Woolworths has announced it is rebranding its feminine hygiene category to period care. Picture: Dallas Kilponen
Woolworths has announced it is rebranding its feminine hygiene category to period care. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

"Many of us still tread around using the word period as if it's inappropriate or something to be ashamed of. The truth is periods are a very natural part of life," she told news.com.au.

"This is a change we can make today that will help debunk the stigma of calling a period what it is and will help many young women grow up feeling less shame or embarrassment, so we're excited to introduce this in Australia."

The move was trialled in New Zealand at its Countdown stores last year where it received huge praise among shoppers who supported the change in its aisles.

Ms Davis said response in New Zealand with shoppers was "remarkable" - especially among young women and parents - and is hoping to have a similar effect in Australia.

"Young women are especially passionate about reclaiming the word and calling periods what they are," she said.

"Our research shows that Australians agree there is still a stigma around the word 'period'.

"As Australia's largest retailer, we feel a responsibility to make a simple change, that can help remove some of the embarrassment around periods."

The move was trialled in Woolworths Countdown stores with huge success. Picture: Facebook
The move was trialled in Woolworths Countdown stores with huge success. Picture: Facebook

One mum across the ditch posted a photo of the new sign to a Facebook group in November, writing she was thrilled the word was finally being made less "dirty".

"It makes me so happy that my girls will be less likely to think that 'period' is a dirty word, because a supermarket can use the ACTUAL WORDS rather than cryptic clues like 'sanitary products'. Progress," she wrote.

Radio host Ash London has teamed up with Woolies to become a Period Care ambassador, stating she supports the step towards a future where teenage girls feel less "shame when it comes to periods".

"I'm all for calling things the way they are - and for too long we've felt like we have to speak in code about one of the most natural things on the planet," she said.

"This may seem like a small step, but my hope is that it contributes to a future where young people especially feel less shame and embarrassment when it comes to periods.

"Teenage years are full of enough cringe moments without adding period shame to the mix. I think this is a wonderful step in the right direction from a major brand like Woolworths."

Radio host Ash London is an ambassador for the change, stating it was a ‘wonderful step in the right direction’. Picture: Dallas Kilponen
Radio host Ash London is an ambassador for the change, stating it was a ‘wonderful step in the right direction’. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

Woolworths also announced it has partnered with Share the Dignity - a charity that provides period products for those in need - for a third year.

Since the partnership commenced in 2019, more than $1.8 million has been donated to support Share The Dignity's community impact programs.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au

Originally published as 'Exciting' change in Woolies aisles


IT’S ON: Dalby Show returns with a bang after pandemic

Premium Content IT’S ON: Dalby Show returns with a bang after pandemic

Lawnmower races, rodeos, and an Australian record attempt are only the tip of the...

One-third of QLD councils on financial brink

Premium Content One-third of QLD councils on financial brink

One-third of Qld councils at risk financially

A whole new app experience coming your way

A whole new app experience coming your way

This is moving to a new home for a better digital experience