What Happened Next - Let’s Talk!
9 months ago Elbi, together with our partners at UNFPA, launched our inaugural event “Let’s Talk”.
Our Co Founder,Natalia Vodianova, who also hosted the event had one simple aim: How can we bring together some of the leading global figures in women’s health from across every sector to begin a conversation about breaking down the existing stigmas and taboos? How can we prevent these stigmas and taboos from stopping girls and women from thriving and leading healthy, happy lives?
It was a huge task - but the stage was set and we knew we had the right people in the room to make a real difference.
Graciously hosted by Maxx Royal in Antalya Turkey - we welcomed The First Lady of Turkey, organisations such as P&G, Turkish Airlines, Vogue, Parsons School of Design New York, FC Shakhtar and FLO (the world’s leading female health app), Special Olympics, The Sabanci Foundation and a host of well known national and international faces including journalist Anne McElvoy, Dilek Sabanci, campaigners and models Anja Rubik, Adowa Aboah and Dayle Haddon.
The talking was phenomenal
But this was not only about talking. We asked for commitments, hard pledges and deliverables - that we could track and report against - that would make a measurable and sustainable difference to the lives of girls and women.
Here are a few highlights of what has been achieved so far:
FC Shakhtar pledged at the event to create its first-ever girls football team. And it did. This makes Shakhtar the first professional football club in Ukraine to establish a girls team. And that’s not all, Shakhtar FC, Special Olympics Ukraine & UNFPA Ukraine signed an agreement to work together on a girls football project which will begin in September 2019 and conclude in May 2020!
80 girls -with and without intellectual disabilities - will participate in Unified Football teams across 4 cities (Kiev, Kharkov, Mariupol, and Ivano-Frankivsk) and this will culminate in 6 competitions during the project).
Vogue Turkey pledged to publish its first-ever no photoshop edition of the magazine. This launched in March 2019 and tackled issues of body shame, mental health and female empowerment.
Vogue Poland pledged to capture a Special Olympics Poland Female Volleyball event at the end of August 2019 , with the commitment to create a spread in the autumn edition of Vogue Poland on the female athletes of Special Olympics Poland!
Natalia Vodianova pledged to take the stigma message to the masses. And in March 2019 it couldn’t get much bigger than a massive 10,000 young people at Wembley Arena in London.
Natalia inspired the kids about periods and talked about how we mustn’t be ashamed.
One local school in Walthamstow was so inspired they created an art installation in their building using recycled products to represent the stigma and taboo surrounding periods.
P&G Turkey committed to supplying a million pads to keep girls in school in Turkey. By January 2019 they had already distributed nearly 750,000 pads and education sessions to girls across schools.
Parsons School of Design
Parsons School of Design pledged to collaborate with UNFPA and Hela (an undergarment manufacturer) to create sustainable menstrual garments for refugees in Africa. Parsons students are working directly with the refugees to refine the prototypes in order to make the garments as effective as possible. Garments continue to be distributed to refugees in dignity kits and the project should be completed by the end of the year.
FLO pledged to engage with their extensive FLO community to help girls in India. Progress is ongoing. They have teamed up with Elbi and are currently planning the launch of the 1 million girls campaign in India, which will see 1 million girls given access to vital period and health products as well as the opportunity to take part in educational workshops to discuss the key issues surrounding these products.