#SheCan Fund to inspire women
Published on: Thursday, March 14, 2019

KOTA KINABALU:  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.

Towards this end, the Kotex #SheCan Fund was set up last October with an annual commitment of RM100,000 to inspire more young women to make strides in areas where they are currently underrepresented, from arts to education, to entrepreneurship and beyond.

Kimberly-Clark marketing manager Frenissa Lagman said the #SheCan movement has been driving societal change globally to help young women defy gender stereotypes to emerge as champions and to stand as equals in pursuing their ambitions.

“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,” she said in a statement, Wednesday. 

“The #SheCan Fund was set up to do just that, to support and motivate these women, to ensure they have the same opportunities.”

The fund, recently, has empowered its first four recipients with financial assistance of between RM7,000 and RM25,000 to women from varied backgrounds with equally varied pursuits.

Lagman said they were selected from more than 240 submissions from across the country.

“Their submissions detailed their ambition to engage the community and inspire other young women to overcome society’s expectations of them.”

They are artist Nawwar Shukriah Ali, aspiring dancer Aina Amirah, leprosy researcher Atiqah Abd Rahim, and social volunteer Nur Adzratull Iffah. 

According to Atiqah, 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 or more commonly known as leprosy, in Sarawak, specifically in a resettlement village of Kampung Sinar Baru at Kota Padawan, Atiqah realised that age-old prejudices have led to people afflicted with the disease facing significant hardship even though Hansen’s disease is treatable. 

“Thanks to the Fund, I am able to use the financial assistance 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 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 to become a teaching assistant at a special needs school in Jakarta, Indonesia via an International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences (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.

Lagman said she is 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 #SheCan Fund is the perfect opportunity for women to share your passion with our panel of judges to bring that passion alive,” she said.  

As such, she said, women, especially in Sabah who are facing challenges in realising their life-changing ambitions can continue to submit their entries for the Kotex #SheCan Fund. 


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