JAKARTA, Indonesia – Softex continued its social campaign in support of UNICEF Indonesia and launched the ‘Ana & The Red Wings’ short film in an effort to eliminate the stigma around the period experience and create public awareness of the importance of menstrual health access and hygiene in Eastern Indonesia. The short film was inspired by the first menstrual experience of girls in Eastern Indonesia. In addition, the Ana & The Red Wings Exhibition is now open to the public from March 10-12, 2023 at the Sarinah Building in Jakarta.
The short film aims to empower and inspire girls in Indonesia to embrace the first moment of their menstruation with more readiness and confidence. The symbolization of red wings in this short film represents a sign of maturity.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with UNICEF Indonesia. Previously, the program positively impacted Indonesian girls in Papua, West Papua, South Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara. We hope this partnership can build public awareness about issues surrounding menstrual health management and improve the well-being of adolescents in Eastern Indonesia. The initiative also supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030,” explained Kadir Gunduz, President Director of PT Softex Indonesia.
According to the School Sanitation Profile 2022 published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology with UNICEF, 52% of schools in Indonesia had inadequate women’s toilet facilities and access to menstrual hygiene. In an effort to tackle this issue, Softex – through the Kimberly-Clark Foundation – donated 15 billion rupiah to UNICEF Indonesia for the program, which aims to improve the quality of life for girls in Indonesia by promoting and educating them about menstrual health and hygiene, and providing gender and socially inclusive access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
This collaboration will run until 2024, and Softex is partnering with UNICEF to help 10,000 girls in Eastern Indonesia manage their menstruation safely and hygienically. They will also support 80,000 people, especially girls, in Eastern Indonesia and help create a clean and hygienic environment. The company’s involvement in the development of menstrual health management is an attempt to make a positive difference in society and create a better world for future generations.
“The lack of understanding about menstrual health and hygiene can disrupt girls’ performance in school, and it often results in stress and unnecessary shame. In rare cases, it can even lead to unwanted pregnancy. The right knowledge about menstruation is therefore important for girls – and also boys,” said Gregor Henneka, Chief of Fundraising and Partnerships for UNICEF Indonesia.
He added, “Softex is UNICEF Indonesia’s loyal partner in overcoming the community’s menstrual crisis. We’ve been working together to improve the quality of life for girls in Eastern Indonesia.”
Softex, in addition to the short film screening, organized the Ana & The Red Wings Exhibition in collaboration with local artists Ika Vantiani and Rachel Ajeng. This exhibition presents two inspirational and interactive masterpieces interpreting the red wings as a symbol of the first period experience, based on the artist’s experience and feelings from watching Ana & The Red Wings.
Shanna Shannon or famously known as Shannon, a young Indonesian singer and Founder of Yayasan Shanna Shannon Indonesia Banget, attended the press conference and opening of the exhibition today. Sharing her personal experience, she said, “I was so concerned to see UNICEF’s survey results, which show that 1 out of 7 girls in Indonesia miss school during menstruation because of a lack of awareness and hygiene. The data encourages me to give the education to girls in several schools in eastern Indonesia.”
Shannon also mentioned, “I admire Softex’s dedication in providing awareness to these girls about the importance of menstrual health and its impact in society, both through the program with UNICEF, as well as through this short film and exhibition.”
Since 2019, Softex has supported UNICEF Indonesia through the #DariSaudari social campaign, which has helped reach 44,000 girls and 1,327 schools in Eastern Indonesia and communicated clean living behaviors and menstrual hygiene management practices in Papua, West Papua, South Sulawesi and East Nusa Tenggara. This partnership , which runs through 2024, aims to impact even more girls in other parts of Eastern Indonesia.