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We Need to Talk Association

the Association which aims to fight against period poverty and menstruation stigma in Turkey.
We Need to Talk Association
Leadership team

Ilayda Eskitasçioglu (Co-Founder )

Bahar Aldanmaz (Co-Founder)

Izel Güven (Project Coordinator)

Burcu Köleli (Visual Artist)

Headquarters
Turkey
Type
Women
Region served
Turkey
Year stablished
2016
Social Media
Summary

We Need to Talk Association (konusmamiz gerek dernegi) is a non-profit organization based in Turkey that has been actively fighting against period poverty and menstruation stigma since 2016. The association is led by Ilayda Eskitasçioglu and Bahar Aldanmaz Fidan, and it has a team of volunteers, donors, and sponsors who support its mission.

The association's primary focus is to enhance the accessibility, quality, and sustainability of menstrual products in Turkey. However, the association is also committed to disseminating data collection and educational content creation on period poverty and menstruation experiences in Turkey. To achieve these goals, the association conducts extensive fieldwork, which includes delivering visualized educational brochures and menstrual products to its beneficiaries. The association's primary target groups are seasonal agricultural workers, children going to schools in remote rural areas, refugee communities, and socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in big cities.

Moreover, the association has published a Menstruation Guide for Non-Menstruators. This manual is designed to guide non-menstruators, such as fathers, brothers, cousins, teachers, colleagues, and romantic/sexual partners, to understand the menstrual cycle and support menstruators accordingly. The guide covers various topics, including Menstrual 101 (an introduction to the menstrual cycle), Menstruation Guide for Teachers, for Fathers, for Brothers, Siblings, and Relatives, for Romantic and Sexual Partners, for Employers and Colleagues, and Menstruation Experiences of Non-Binary, Intersex and Trans Menstruators. The guide has received positive feedback from stakeholders, and it was introduced with a comprehensive social media campaign.

Overall, the We Need to Talk Association is doing critical work in addressing period poverty and menstruation stigma in Turkey, and its efforts are commendable.


History

The We Need to Talk Association (konusmamiz gerek dernegi) is a non-profit organization based in Turkey that was founded in 2016 by Ilayda Eskitasçioglu and Bahar Aldanmaz Fidan. The association was established with the aim of addressing period poverty and menstruation stigma in Turkey.

The founders of the association were inspired to start this initiative after learning about the dire conditions that women and girls face in accessing menstrual products in Turkey. According to a study conducted by the association, nearly 60% of women in Turkey struggle to access menstrual products, and this issue is particularly acute in rural areas and among socio-economically disadvantaged communities.

To address this issue, the association launched its first project in 2016, which involved providing menstrual products to women and girls in rural areas. Over time, the association's work expanded, and it began conducting fieldwork to disseminate educational content on menstruation and period poverty in addition to providing menstrual products.

In 2018, the association organized a "Menstruation Week" event in Istanbul to raise awareness about period poverty and menstruation stigma. The event included a photo exhibition, panel discussions, and workshops on menstrual health.

In 2019, the association began working on a comprehensive research project to gather data on menstrual experiences and period poverty in Turkey. The research project involved surveying more than 2,000 women and girls across the country and conducting interviews with women's rights organizations, healthcare professionals, and policymakers. The findings of this research project were later used to inform the association's advocacy work and educational content.

In 2020, the association published a Menstruation Guide for Non-Menstruators, a manual designed to help non-menstruators understand the menstrual cycle and support menstruators accordingly. The guide covers various topics, including Menstrual 101 (an introduction to the menstrual cycle), Menstruation Guide for Teachers, for Fathers, for Brothers, Siblings, and Relatives, for Romantic and Sexual Partners, for Employers and Colleagues, and Menstruation Experiences of Non-Binary, Intersex and Trans Menstruators. The guide was well-received and was introduced with a comprehensive social media campaign.

Since its founding, the We Need to Talk Association has reached more than 50,000 beneficiaries through its fieldwork, which includes delivering visualized educational brochures and menstrual products to its beneficiaries. The association's primary target groups are seasonal agricultural workers, children going to schools in remote rural areas, refugee communities, and socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in big cities.

Overall, the We Need to Talk Association has been doing critical work in addressing period poverty and menstruation stigma in Turkey, and its efforts have contributed significantly to raising awareness about this issue in the country.


Goals and Purpose

The We Need to Talk Association (konusmamiz gerek dernegi) has three main goals. The first is to enhance the accessibility, quality, and sustainability of menstrual products in Turkey. This involves working to ensure that menstrual products are readily available to those who need them, particularly those in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The organization also aims to improve the quality and sustainability of menstrual products, promoting the use of environmentally friendly options such as reusable menstrual cups.

The second goal of the organization is to disseminate data collection and educational content creation on period poverty and menstruation experiences in Turkey. This involves conducting research and collecting data on the prevalence and impact of period poverty in Turkey, as well as creating educational materials to raise awareness and promote understanding of menstruation and its related issues.

Finally, the We Need to Talk Association aims to add comprehensive menstruation and sex education to the National Education Curriculum Fieldworks. The organization believes that providing young people with accurate information about menstruation and sexual health is crucial for combating period poverty and stigma. By including comprehensive menstrual and sex education in the national education curriculum, the organization hopes to help break down taboos and promote positive attitudes towards menstruation and sexual health


Impact

The organization has managed to reach more than 50,000 beneficiaries through their field work, which includes delivering educational brochures and menstrual products to seasonal agricultural workers, children in remote rural areas, refugee communities, and socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in big cities.

In addition, the association has disseminated data collection and educational content creation on period poverty and menstruation experiences in Turkey, aiming to raise awareness and eliminate the stigmatization of menstruation. They have also been working towards enhancing the accessibility, quality, and sustainability of menstrual products in Turkey, as well as adding comprehensive menstruation and sex education to the National Education Curriculum fieldwork.

One of their notable accomplishments is the publication of the Menstruation Guide for Non-Menstruators, a manual that guides non-menstruators to understand the menstrual cycle and support menstruators accordingly. The guide covers a wide range of topics, including Menstrual 101, Menstruation Guide for Teachers, Fathers, Brothers, Siblings, and Relatives, Romantic and Sexual Partners, Employers and Colleagues, and Menstruation Experiences of Non-Binary, Intersex, and Trans Menstruators. The guide has received positive feedback from stakeholders and was introduced with a comprehensive social media campaign.

The We Need to Talk Association has also received support from numerous donors, sponsors, and volunteers, who have contributed to their efforts in fighting against period poverty and menstruation stigma in Turkey. Through their various initiatives and collaborations, the association has made a significant impact in improving menstrual health and education in Turkey and continues to strive towards its goals of eliminating period poverty and menstruation stigma in the country.


References
We Need to Talk Association
Leadership team

Ilayda Eskitasçioglu (Co-Founder )

Bahar Aldanmaz (Co-Founder)

Izel Güven (Project Coordinator)

Burcu Köleli (Visual Artist)

Headquarters
Turkey
Type
Women
Region served
Turkey
Year stablished
2016
Social Media