The “Kebersihan Menstruasi Adalah Hak Wanita” (Menstrual Hygiene is a Woman’s Right) movement launched in November 2021, calls for the support of the Rakyat, to contribute in a small yet powerful way to the campaign which runs until January 2022.
The movement is a result of a synergy between KAO Laurier Malaysia, Yayasan Perintis Malaysia (MyPerintis) and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) as a step forward in bridging the disparity gap in period poverty among young women in higher education institutions across Malaysia.
“We believe Malaysians view period poverty as a critical area of need and wish to be part of the solution. This campaign is inspired by KAO Laurier’s Kirei lifestyle philosophy and our mission to make life beautiful for all. A Kirei lifestyle is full of compassion, demonstrated by the inclusivity and care we wish to extend to the B40 community in universities. It’s why we do what is right, not what is easy. We put our innovation and imagination to the task of enriching lives by finding ways for people all over the world to live the Kirei lifestyle,” explained Kao Laurier Malaysia Marketing Vice President, Tan Poh Ling.
“Above and beyond contributing to the needs of young women from the B40 community in higher education institutions, we look forward to amplifying discussions around period poverty that will further inspire efforts to eradicate the issue in Malaysia. We hope the Rakyat will join us in this nationwide initiative, in which their regular monthly purchase of sanitary napkins can now be extended to help young Malaysians within the B40 community,” Tan added.
The Ministry of Higher Education said, “Addressing period poverty is crucial in meeting the socio-economic needs of marginalised girls and women. This public-private partnership between KAO Laurier Malaysia, MyPerintis and the Ministry of Higher Education is an example of all parties coming together, bringing value to the table, in order to address the challenge of period poverty. While the road towards addressing this multidimensional issue will be long, we believe a collective effort will see us progress towards sustainable solutions.”
29-year old Sahirah, a Sales and Marketing Executive from Kuala Lumpur, and 31-year old Ket, a Financial Manager from Damansara, shared insights on the concerning issue of period poverty and their message for women in need.
“I am very concerned about the period poverty issue that is currently all over social media, but I believe that many are still unaware of the unfortunate situation, that girls are unable to access safe and hygienic-sanitary products due to financial constraints,” Sahirah shared. “To all girls who are suffering, please know that it is okay to reach out to other people. In Malaysia, we have a lot of committed parties, NGO(s), for example, who are passionate about spearheading initiatives like this; you can always reach out to them via social media. You have to know that you are not alone.”
“I am actually quite surprised to hear about the period poverty campaign; that there are women out there who are facing serious financial constraints – to the extent that they could not afford to purchase sanitary pads. Some even had to opt for alternatives, such as cloth, to solve the issue. Our responsibility is to find the solution to help them,” said Ket. “Malaysians, including me, are always ready to help. So women in need should not be ashamed to ask for it,” he added.
Laurier Night Safe Brand Ambassador, Sweet Qismina shared, “As a young woman myself, it breaks my heart knowing there are young women in Malaysia who are hindered from carrying out daily routines and living life to the fullest on account of not having access to feminine hygiene care necessities. Nevertheless, I’m encouraged that we, as Malaysians, can play an active role to help address period poverty in a small way. As the saying goes, great oaks from little acorns grow (sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit). Together, our simple contribution can make a difference in the lives of young women in universities across Malaysia.”