BY: Michelle Liew
In a day and age where the society is ever-changing and moving forward, many issues that were once known to be major taboos are starting to gain recognition.
The light has shone upon these important discussions in a bid to promote a better society- one that is understanding and safe. There have been many campaigns that have reached the vast majority in order to enlighten and educate people with regards to these topics and RedTalks has certainly played a huge role in doing so.
RedTalks is a non-profit, youth-led initiative powering to destigmatize periods, fight period poverty and increase access to reproductive and menstrual education across Malaysia, irrespective of gender or age.
The organisation’s advocacies have managed to get across thousands of menstruators all around Malaysia through online content curation. Apart from its growing social media presence, it has also donated thousands of sanitary pads to menstruators, as well as delivered talks on sexual, reproductive and menstrual health to refugee schools and shelter homes across the Klang Valley.
The Beginning of RedTalks
Founded by a group of teenagers; Aida Sabrina Hood, Charmaine Cheong, Juhi Todi, Nethraa Narendran, Rahemma Azwar and Nur Alina Hassan, RedTalks is reaching for greater heights with through its initiatives and awareness campaigns.
RedTalks told Goodnews, the idea started while they were in college.
“When we were given an opportunity to do something to improve the community as a part of our mandatory Project Purpose, which was part of our syllabus in college, all of us were overwhelmed with the different ideas we had.
“We were very passionate about feminism, equality and menstrual education and settled on trying to solve the big problem which was the lack of education, awareness and conversation on the matter of menstrual health,” the founders told GoodNews.
There was a lack of conversations about sex education, they said.
“For a few months, we only posted facts about menstruation and vaginal health on our social media, which is when we realised that there are hardly any conversations about sex education, consent and the period poverty that is being faced by the underprivileged in our community.
“We wanted to create a safe space for anyone who had any questions or who wanted to share any experiences just so they wouldn’t feel so alone. It’s not surprising that a lot of people go through similar things with their bodies and lives, they just don’t know and feel alone because this stigma has been created around the topics that should be talked about comfortably with one another and without judgement,” they said.
One of the main issues that RedTalks advocate is period poverty.
People often think that period poverty refers to the inaccessibility to menstrual hygiene products due to insufficient funds but actually also includes to the lack of access to proper sexual, reproductive health and hygiene education.
In response to that, RedTalks organised events, including pad drives and fundraisers to provide relief over the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products.
One of the fundraisers, ‘Flow for Their Flows’, was a one-hour yoga class, in which the proceeds have gone towards buying sanitary pads for those in need.
RedTalks has donated around 4,000 sanitary pads since its establishment.