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Zahid Hamidi’s Daughter Dismisses Period Poverty Claims In Malaysia, Says Pads Are ‘Cheap’

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Source: Men in Menstruation & Astro Awani & Nurul Hidayah | Instagram

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The issue of ‘period poverty’ has been and will likely always be a pertinent issue that unfortunately, many Malaysians face.

Fortunately, some initiatives have been announced to help combat the issue within our country. This includes the announcement during the tabling of Budget 2022 by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz that the government will provide free sanitary pads every month to 130,000 female teenagers in the B40 group.

However, some believe that the issue is not as bad as we may think. Recently, Datuk Nurul Hidayah, daughter of UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made light of the issue and claimed that period poverty does not exist in Malaysia.

This was featured on an Instagram post of her commenting on the caption of an article by Sinar Harian, where Pejuang Women’s Youth wing (Pejuanita Muda) chief Dr Nurul Ashikin Mabahwi, had said that all women in the B40 community should be given free sanitary pads as it would help to curb unwanted and forced pregnancies.

 

Hidayah

 

Commenting on the issue, Nurul Hidayah mockingly asked, “Kak, my husband asked if they do not wear the free sanitary napkins, will they definitely get pregnant, or how does it work?”

“I’ve never heard a specialist doctor recommending the use of free pads to prevent pregnancies.”

Her post triggered many angry comments from netizens who said that Nurul Hidayah was dismissing the seriousness of period poverty.

In the comments section, one user said, “I hope you know that there are people out there who can’t afford it hence why they’d rather get pregnant multiple times due to period poverty. It exists. It does.”

Screenshot 56

 

However, Nurul Hidayah continued to defend her stance on the subject, saying:

“I am alert about it. But not in Malaysia. And it’s not like pad prices are sky-high either. I do research on pads, and I’ve launched a menstrual pad brand, so I would know.”

In another comment, Nurul Hidayah further claimed that period poverty in Malaysia is not comparable to that of India, as there are zakat centres and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) here to help.

She then posted another Instagram post, where she explained that instead of distributing free pads, B40 women should be taught and equipped with the knowledge of menstrual hygiene and family planning as a more sustainable approach.

 

Screenshot 57

 

In the post which is titled “For those who have misunderstood and are bitter”, Nurul Hidayah stated that, “I have no issues on the giving of free pads. But until when do we want to teach them to receive, instead of giving the B40 women enough knowledge to stand on their own feet?”

“There are many other ways of helping the B40 community. That’s what I meant.”

 

Dr Nurul Ashikin has responded to Nurul Hidayah’s Instagram rant

Pejuang Women’s Youth wing (Pejuanita Muda) chief Dr Nurul Ashikin Mabahwi, who was the subject of the Sinar Harian article, disagreed with Nurul Hidayah’s approach and implied that rich women would find it hard to understand.

“The spreading of awareness on period poverty is not just specific to men but also to rich women who feel that the the issue of period poverty is irrelevant as shown in the Instagram post of Zahid Hamidi’s daughter.”

“We need to understand that poor women do not have access to the knowledge of family planning,. So they could only think of a short term way of not having to purchase sanitary napkins for a period of nine months,” she added.

 

Screenshot 59

 

In a response to Nurul Hidayah’s comment that B40 women should be taught how to survive and start businesses, Nurul Ashikin said, “Pads are a necessity that they don’t have but you’re asking them to go and do business whilst they’re on their period. No need to be bitter that people are giving free pads to those who can’t afford it.”

“Do not deny the rights of those who can’t afford it. It’s cheap for you because you were born rich.”

Furthermore, Nurul Ashikin has also urged Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun to take notice of the period poverty issue.

“The Women’s Ministry should realise how serious of an issue this is and take drastic action. They could work with other ministries to ensure that all schools give away free pads as a start. Period poverty has increased ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

What do you think of this issue? Let us know in the comments.

 

Also read: Budget 2022: Free Sanitary Pads To Be Provided Monthly To 130,000 Teens In B40 Group

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