4 amazing young women were selected from over 240 submissions, following a rigorous judging process.
Women across the world are breaking down barriers every day and sometimes, all it takes is a little financial assistance to give these women the nudge they need to embark on their journey to become the best they can be.
That is exactly what the first 4 recipients of the Kotex® #SHECAN FUND needed to pursue their passion and make a difference in the lives of others. They are now one step closer to achieving their goals after their entries were selected from more than 240 submissions from across the country.
“While women in Malaysia are generally not as disadvantaged as their counterparts in other parts of the world, there are still many who have been unable to take the next step towards achieving their dreams. The Kotex #SHECAN FUND was set up to do just that, to support and motivate these women, to ensure they have the same opportunities,” said Frenissa Lagman, Marketing Manager for Kimberly-Clark.
“Kotex® is proud to partner these four amazing Malaysian women who have shown a strong, unyielding sense of courage, determination, passion and grit that embodies the spirit of the Kotex #SHECAN movement that Period or Not, She Can.”
Apart from eliminating period worries, the Kotex® #SHECAN movement has been driving societal change globally to help young women challenge outdated perceptions and misconceptions around period myths and worries by defying gender stereotypes to emerge as champions and to stand as equals in pursuing their ambitions, and to inspire other young women that they, too, can achieve whatever they set their hearts on.
In Malaysia, Kotex® kicked off the #SHECAN FUND in October last year with an annual commitment of RM100,000 to inspire more young women and girls to make strides in areas where women are currently underrepresented, from arts to education, to entrepreneurship and beyond.
The first four recipients the Kotex® #SHECAN FUND who will be awarded between RM7,000 and RM25,000, hail from varied backgrounds with equally varied pursuits. Their submissions detailed their ambition to engage the community and inspire other young women to overcome society’s expectations of them.
- artist, Nawwar Shukriah Ali
- aspiring dancer, Aina Amirah
- leprosy researcher, Atiqah Abd Rahim;
- social volunteer, Nur Adzratull Iffah.
Nawwar Shurkriah Ali, 34, has always turned to her art which encompasses drawings, installations and photography as a form of expression. It has helped her articulate her childhood struggles to show that there is hope and that the good will always prevail. She appreciates the significance of being a female artist and is grateful to Kotex® for funding her first solo art exhibition which will provide a visual insight to mental health issues.
“A person living with mental health problems often has difficulty to hope and find something meaningful to focus on, but I believe art is a positive tool to try to bridge that gap,” she explained.
For 23-year-old Aina Amirah, her faith makes her passion for contemporary dance that much stronger. As a recipient of the fund, this hijab-wearing young woman is now on her way to honing her skills to become a professional contemporary dancer.
“We should not be discriminated against based on our faith or forms of dressing. I am most happy when I’m dancing and I want to share the beauty of contemporary dance and inspire young people who may not have the confidence or the opportunities to follow their dreams and show them that the world truly is their stage.”
According to Atiqah Abd Rahim, 25, her eyes were opened to the struggles and stigma associated with Hansen’s disease, that continue to devastate those who are and have been afflicted with the disease. Following a research piece on Hansen’s disease (more commonly known as leprosy) in Sarawak, specifically in a resettlement village of Kampung Sinar Baru at Kota Padawan, Atiqah realized that age-old prejudices have led to people afflicted with the disease facing significant hardship even though Hansen’s disease is treatable.
“Thanks to Kotex®, I am able to use the funds to publish a book on my findings to highlight the struggles of former sufferers to show there is life after being cured and they too can have joy in their hearts,” she said.
Armed with a burning desire to help others in need, Nur Adzratull Iffah is willing to be put out of her way to do so.
“If you have enough compassion to see where and when help is needed, you are already way ahead of many people,” said the 20-year-old social volunteer.
She will use the funds from Kotex® to become a teaching assistant at a special needs school in Jakarta via an AIESEC Malaysia volunteer programme. Nur Adzratull is thrilled she will be able to pursue her goal to give back to the community and she hopes to inspire others to do the same.
“We are confident that women are built for incredible things and these four individuals are just the start. We hope to inspire many more women across Malaysia. The Kotex® #SHECAN FUND is the perfect opportunity for women to share your passion with our panel of judges to bring that passion alive.”
Women who have faced challenges in realising their life-changing ambitions can continue to submit their entries for the Kotex ® #SHECAN FUND.
For more details, log on to: SheCanFund.com.