Global fashion icons flock to Turkey for women's convention

Global fashion icons flock to Turkey for women's convention
Supermodels Natalia Vodianova, Adwoa Aboah and Anja Rubik are among many arriving in Turkey this week for the "Let's Talk! 2018" convention on women's health.
2 min read
26 October, 2018
Global fashion icons and activists arrived in Turkey for "Let's Talk! 2018" [Twitter]
Global fashion icons and activists arrived in Turkey this week for the "Let's Talk! 2018" event – an international initiative aimed at openly addressing women's health issues.

Supermodel, philanthropist and campaigner Natalia Vodianova was joined by British model of the moment Adwoa Aboah and renowned Polish model Anja Rubik in Antalya for the two-day event, which took off on October 25.

Speaking ahead of the event, Russia-born Vodianova addressed taboos around women's sexual health.

"Growing up in the Soviet Union, sex and periods were almost unthinkable subjects," Vodianova said, "I never went to see a gynaecologist before I became pregnant, in fact I didn't even know what one was.

"When I hit puberty and my breasts began to grow, on faster than the other, I thought I was dying of cancer - I was that unaware of the female body.

"Now I want to make a stand and see that women around the world are empowered to enjoy the human right to health and education."

Vodianova commended the location of the event, saying: "Turkey, the meeting point of the West and the East, is a perfect platform for this convention."

The event, which was organised in partnership with the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency UNFPA, also addressed the stigma around mental health. 

"Mental health is a crucial discussion in any language, society and culture - one that is often swept under the carpet as an inconvenient and awkward topic shrouded in a lack of awareness and understanding," Aboah said.

"The taboo's and stigmas surrounding mental health are rife in every corner of the globe and will forever remain so unless we utilise the crucial platform provided by this event to address the issues."

The panel also focused on the role of governments and civil society in changing perceptions on women's health. 

"Growing up in a country where sex is a major taboo and education surrounding female health is non-existent, I know just how damaging the lack of awareness can be for young females.

"We need to do more in the way of international curriculums to educate young females of their menstrual, sexual and reproductive health," Rubik said.

"I think an event like this is so powerful. It gives us the opportunity to develop a new era of awareness and attitudes towards women's health, inspiring others to make the topic increasingly current and accessible.

"This is the platform we needed to run thoughts into results."