Procter & Gamble announced Monday that it would remove the Venus symbol for women from the packaging of Always menstruation products to be more inclusive to transgender and nonbinary customers.
The company will begin removing female signs from the packaging starting on sanitary pads beginning in December, with plans for a new design to be distributed worldwide by February 2020, according to a statement obtained by HuffPost UK.
“For over 35 years, Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so,” a Procter & Gamble official said. “We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion, and after hearing from many people across genders and age groups, we realised that not everyone who has a period and needs to use a pad identifies as female.
“To ensure that anyone who needs to use a period product feels comfortable in doing so with Always, we updated our pad wrapper design.”
The company added that its mission remains to ensure “no girl loses confidence at puberty because of her gender or period.”
The change comes after U.K. trans activist Ben Saunders wrote a letter to Procter & Gamble earlier this year to ask about the Venus symbol, HuffPost noted.
Saunders was named Stonewall “Young Campaigner of the Year” in March for producing a documentary that explored the experiences of trans young people at school.
The Hill has reached out to Saunders for comment.
Hey @Always since today is #TransVisibilityDay it’s probably important to point out the fact that this new packaging isn’t trans* friendly. Just a reminder that Menstruation does not equal Female. Maybe rethink this new look. pic.twitter.com/1Fp8bdB6qY
— (@Sara_Kelhi) March 31, 2019
The Always announcement triggered some mixed reactions online from those accusing Always of “erasing women,” HuffPost noted.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail accused Procter & Gamble of “kowtowing” to the “transgender lobby” in making the change. The outlet reported that angry customers in the United Kingdom are now boycotting the brand.