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People in Sweden are debating a new government-funded initiative to provide a supportive environment for women during their periods. 

The new has given a grant of 530,000 kronor ($58,400; £44,900) to an organisation called MENSEN (Menses) to "break the taboo around menstruation", with period-friendly workplaces receiving a certificate.

calls for toilets, sanitary bins and hand-washing facilities to be available in all working environments, including for professionals outside the office space, like construction workers, plumbers and bus drivers. 

"We risk treating menstruation as an illness rather than a normal bodily function," Josefin Persdotter, a sociology researcher at Gothenburg University told the labour movement weekly.

"Sometimes you are hungry, sometimes thirsty, and sometimes you have hormone fluctuations affecting your work," she said.

Other advocates want employers to supply sanitary products at work just as they provide toilet roll.

Around the world, women struggle to have a dignified menstrual experience. Some women are excluded from social life during that time of the month. Others lack adequate hygiene products due to poverty.

The issues are all part of the same core problem, Swedish period advocates believe.

Sweden is known for its gender equality programmes - the government has even launched an instruction manual for . Menstrual rights feature not only in the media, but also on stage and in public spaces.

There has been "" for schools, a , comic books, exhibitions and a podcast, not to mention artwork on the Stockholm metro by prominent graphic novelist .