The 25th and 26th October will see the fashion world unite with other thought leaders, change makers and policy shapers with the ambition of creating an open platform to tackle the taboos of sexual, reproductive and mental health as well as gender equality.

Stigma and taboos around women’s health are pervasive in most societies, and their effects have serious negative consequences, sometimes putting lives at risk. Taboos for menstruation, for example, lead to women not having access to hygiene products, being deterred from sports and risking infections. Taboos around health education can lead to young people not knowing how to protect themselves from HIV etc. and risking early pregnancy.
In addition to women’s health taboos, the event also looks to tackle stigma around mental health. In the world 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders, with half of all mental illnesses beginning before the age of 14.

The event is being hosted by Russian supermodel, philanthropist and entrepreneur Natalia Vodianova and her digital charitable giving platform ELBI in partnership with UNFPA (the UN’s sexual & reproductive health agency.)

Natalia’s drive to pursue the “Let’s Talk!” campaign stems not only from her commitment to use her profile to push positive social messaging but also from her own experiences. Natalia grew up in a society in which women’s health, disability and sexual education was severely stigmatised. Natalia said of her experiences that ‘growing up in the Soviet Union, sex and periods were almost unthinkable subjects.’ This is why “Let’s Talk!” is so important to her, she hopes the campaign can help ‘make a stand and see that women around the world are empowered to enjoy the human right to health and education.

Taking place in the Maxx Royal Resort Kemer in Antalya Turkey, the event will feature a Davos style forum with high profile speakers and an awards ceremony. The awards ceremony will recognise the outstanding endeavours of changemakers fighting globally for women’s health choices and rights.
This occasion will celebrate the people and companies who are at the forefront of changing social norms, as well as creating sustainable solutions and tackle taboos surrounding women’s health around the world.

The event features speakers such as:

British activist and model Adwoa Aboah.

Adwoa Aboah was voted British GQs 2017 Woman of the year and graced the cover of Edward Enninful’s first edition of British Vogue as editor in chief.

She co-founded an online community for young women called Gurls Talk. Aboah has said that ‘nothing is taboo at Gurls Talk’ and she will be bringing this philosophy to the panel she will be hosting at “Let’s Talk!”.

The panel will be looking at young people’s perspectives on stigma around mental health, delving into the mind of millennials and looking at how society can support their needs and provide access to a more prosperous future.
The talk will be taking an interactive approach, allowing the audience, which will mainly be made up of students from Antalya University, to share their thoughts and create a rapport with the panel members.

Adwoa spoke on the event, saying ‘the taboo’s and stigmas surrounding mental health are rife in every corner of the globe and will forever remain so unless we utilise the crucial platform provided by this event to address the issues.

 

Polish model, activist, philanthropist and businesswoman Anja Rubik.

Anja is considered one of the most successful models of the mid 200s to present day.

She will be speaking on a panel that is looking at the role of governments and civil society in changing perceptions around women’s health.
This panel is being hosted by Dayle Haddon, the CEO of Women One and advisor on gender to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Anja said ‘I think an event like this is so powerful. It gives us the opportunity to develop a new era of awareness and attitudes towards women’s health…this is the platform we needed to turn thoughts into results.’

 

Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design New York Burak Cakmak.

Burak has also advised brands such as Stella McCartney on their sustainability strategy.

He will be part of a panel examining the role and responsibility of the media and the private sector in creating awareness, breaking down stigma and shaping perceptions on what it means to be a woman around the world.

 

It will be exciting to see the outcomes of this podium for discussion and innovation.  It is clear that the stigmas and taboos surrounding women’s and mental health need to be broken down. A world where we can talk honestly and openly about these issues will be a safer and better world for everyone, not just women.
It is exciting to see the fashion world get involved in a topic as important as women’s and mental health, hopefully having high profile speakers such as Adwoa Aboah can help to spread the message of the event even further.

Partners of the event include Turkish Airlines, Maxx Royal Resorts and the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).

If you want to follow along and get involved in the conversation use #LetsTalkAboutIt

 

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