İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu – We Need to Talk
İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu, who endeavors to ensure that women in disadvantaged regions could access hygienic materials, especially menstrual products, and to break down the taboo about menstruation, aims to create safe spaces where women can talk about menstruation. Realizing the lack of sanitary pads in the aid boxes that were prepared by İlayda, her family and friends after the Van earthquake in 2011, and a few years later learning that the term “menstruating woman” was added to the definitions of the word “dirty” in the Turkish Language Association's dictionary; Eskitaşçıoğlu decided to work on menstrual taboo. İlayda who founded “We Need to Talk” platform in Ankara at the end of 2016, which operates in İstanbul now, continues to work all around Turkey.
“We Need to Talk” platform, which advocates that access to hygienic materials is a right, organizes trainings, workshops and question-answer sessions with seasonal agricultural workers, refugee women and young girls in village schools. In these trainings that are conducted with Bahar Aldanmaz, who participated in the team later; sexual health, menstruation and hygiene issues are addressed. At the same time, women and girls attending the training are provided with sufficient amount of menstrual hygiene materials for a harvest season or an education semester. In addition to the field work, it is noted that hygiene products are the necessities, and advocacy work is continued for 'fair taxation' of these products. We Need to Talk platform has reached 6,500 girls and women through seven different fieldwork conducted so far in Adana, Ankara, Istanbul and Sivas.
We Need to Talk platform works for the public acceptance of the notion that menstruation is not something to be ashamed of and breaking the menstrual taboos to see women as part of social life and employment without any interruption. Advocating that every woman has the right to access hygienic materials while preserving her self-esteem, İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu continues to make a difference in the lives of women and girls with her efforts.