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Hashtags That Influenced Women's Health in 2015

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Hashtags That Had an Impact on Women's Health in 2015 GTeam/Fotolia

Let’s be real, social media influencer’s can be super-powerful today. I once told my friend a piece of breaking news and his reply to me was, “Wait let me check on Twitter. If it’s not on Twitter, it’s not true.”

Everyone from the White House to local businesses are using the power of social media to not only bring attention to their purpose, but influence others in a positive manner. Social media has become a source for awareness, education and empowerment.

As the year is coming to a close, check out these hashtags that brought attention to women’s reproductive and sexual health in 2015.

1) #StandwithPP

During the past couple of years, the health care industry has witnessed a lot of debate over women’s health care. Employer-provided birth control, the availability and legality of abortion, and the recent controversy over Planned Parenthood’s funding are all hot topics right now, more than ever.

The hashtag, #StandwithPP, was a result of the chaos that was caused when an anti-abortion group released a video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal tissue donations.

Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the United States, making it controversial among pro-life activists and Republican Congress members. However, Planned Parenthood also provides integral health care services for women across the United States.

As a form of support, politicians, celebrities and citizens have retweeted #StandwithPP to show their support. On August 3, 2015, Congress voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood.

2) #Happytobleed

In 2015, The Sabarimala temple, a popular Hindu temple in India reportedly said it would not allow menstruating women to enter the temple, considering them impure. Menstruation has mistakenly been considered impure in the Indian culture due to confusion over ancient traditions.

While the tradition was actually constructed so that women could rest and not be obligated to attend religious festivities while menstruating, people have since assumed that the tradition considered menstruating women impure.

Nikita Azad, a 20 year old girl, started the campaign, #Happytobleed, as a form of resistance against patriarchal beliefs about menstruation. A number of women have submitted photos holding the sign with the hashtag since.

3) #BeBRCAware

This hashtag has been used by online media companies such as SheSpeaks to raise awareness of the BRCA gene and the role it plays in ovarian cancer. The hashtag, #BeBRCAware is being used across social media channels such as Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to promote awareness and education about the BRCA gene by health marketing tools such as infographics.

4) #BCSM

The Breast Cancer and Social Media community is a volunteer organization, dedicated to empowering women affected by breast cancer. #BCSM began in 2011 as a conversation on Twitter to intersect breast cancer and all things social media.

Since its inception, #BCSM has grown to include survivors, health care professionals and supporters from all over the world. In July, 2015, the Journal of Medical Internet Research published a report of a study on survey results from participants in the BCSM Twitter community.

The survey results showed that breast cancer patients who use social medial for education and support experience benefits that could result in higher quality continuum of care.

5) #LiveTweetYourPeriod

Since April, 2015, women have been tweeting their experiences during their monthly cycles. The hashtag received a lot of attention after Jenna Wortham wrote an article of the topic for The New York Times Magazine. The piece is titled “Our Bodies, Our Feeds.” Wortham explains that live tweeting about a topic that is supposedly taboo can help normalize it and destigmatize conversation around women’s reproductive health.


BCSM. BCSM focus of recently published study on social media and breast cancer. December 30 2015.

BCSM. Welcome to the #BCSM community. December 30 2015.

Metro. Women are fighting the stigma of periods using the hilarious #LiveTweetYourPeriod hashtag. December 30 15.

SheSpeaks. The #bebcraware program. December 30 2015.

The Odyssey. #StandwithPP. How and why women’s health went viral. December 30 2015.

The Telegraph. Indian women protest temple that wants to scan them for impure periods. December 30 2015.

Reviewed January 4, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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