For women and girls around the world, menstruation has become a mark of shame. They are told that it is not to be discussed in public, that their tampons and sanitary pads should be hidden away, the blood rendered invisible. In parts of the developing world, the taboo around menstruation has had grave consequences, with girls deterred from going to school, women from work, and with infections often left untreated. In such societies, poverty, culture and religion all collide to create a stifling atmosphere of stigma and silence. In It's Only Blood, journalist Anna Dahlqvist offers a global perspective on our attitudes to menstruation, as told through the experiences of women in countries ranging from Sweden and the United States to Uganda, India and Bangladesh. Dahlqvist reveals how women around the world are being denied their basic human rights, through the denial of access to menstrual hygiene products, adequate toilets, and education about their bodies.
Through conversations with activists and experts, Dahlqvist also shows how women are starting to fight back against the climate of shame, and how what was once unspeakable has become a key struggle in the global movement for women's rights.