Apple has released a new set of more than 350 new emojis for its iPhone keyboard, including gender-neutral characters, mixed-race couples, people with disabilities and a period "blood drop" that campaigners have heralded as a "breakthrough in the fight against period stigma". Girl’s rights charity Plan International launched a campaign in 2017 to create a new period emoji in order to "make it easier for girls and women to talk about their period with friends, family and colleagues". More than 54,000 people cast their vote on the design to be submitted to the Unicode Consortium, which maintains and regulates the library of emojis. The original winning design of "period pants" was initially rejected, but the runner-up blood drop design – made in collaboration with the NHS – was proposed and accepted as an alternative. “We are thrilled to see the arrival of this long-awaited blood drop emoji, which signals a real breakthrough in the fight against period stigma,” said Rose Caldwell, Plan International UK’s chief executive. “Girls, women and other menstruators told us this emoji would help them talk more freely about their periods, which is why we campaigned so hard to make it a reality.” Along with the blood-drop icon, the new emojis feature characters with disabilities as part of Apple's push to make the library more inclusive “But this is only one part of the solution. We know that girls around the world are being held back because of their periods, whether that’s the one in five girls here in the UK who are bullied and teased, girls in Zimbabwe who have dropped out of school because the recent cyclone destroyed their period-friendly toilets, or those living in refugee camps in Bangladesh who can’t access period products since fleeing their homes. “Period poverty will not stop until we fix the toxic trio of affordability of products, lack of education and period shame. We hope this emoji helps to keep the conversation going.” The new period emoji arrives on iPhone with a slew of new icons submitted by Apple after the company said last year that it wanted to improve representation within its library. After consulting with charities on various issues, the new update includes allowing users to choose the gender and ethnicity of each person in the "holding hands" icon. There is also a gender-neutral option on each character emoji along with the original male and female. Insight | How are new emoji introduced? The largest addition, however, comes in the addition of characters with disabilities. The icons include hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, guide dogs and wheelchairs. On submitting its proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year, Apple said: "Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities. "Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all." The new emojis are part of Apple’s 13.2 update for iOS,which also includes its "deep fusion" camera mode, which uses artificial intelligence to improve photographs, and support for its newly announced AirPods Pro earphones.