Hilla Shaviv & Maya Galinsky
New Year... Will it remain the same old?
We all live in an unprecedented time for humanity. Technology has advanced so much that nearly any question, curiosity, and help needed can be solved with the tap of our fingertips. All these technological advances have made remarkable contributions to our lives, even unknowingly! Despite all the glamour of constant technological innovations dazzling society left and right, it is easy to overlook the gap in the innovation world of Femtech.
Women, who constitute 51% of the population, rights have significantly regressed in the past few years. The year 2022 has been a rollercoaster. The United States reinstated the abortion ban, and women's health innovations remain skeptical regarding funding and research, often perceiving it as a "niche market."
This occurrence has led to the development of all society-approved necessary technology. At the same time, stigmatized-based markets remain left to fend independently. One of these taboo markets includes women's hygiene, which still uses the same hygiene devices invented over 100 years ago. We include women's hygiene as a stigmatized market because periods have been looked down on for all of time. "Period shaming" is a term for associating shame with menstruation. Period shame is seen all over social media, amongst politicians, television, movies, memes, etc. Another significant factor is education. Education ignites conversation and change. If women's hygiene was adequately educated on a larger scale, we could embellish acceptance when speaking about periods. The combination of stigmas, taboos, lack of innovation, and education all play a role in the fight against gender inequality. Consequently, none of today's modern technology provides women holistic support to manage their menstrual bleeding.
In the new year of 2023, we want women to feel and embrace empowerment. Break the glass ceiling of any shame society has attempted to bind us as women to hold on to and form a community. Advocate for yourself, speak to your peers and allow your beautiful thoughts, questions, and feelings to be known. Stand up and start those conversations you were taught to be embarrassed about. Empower yourself, your children, and your peers (or anyone!) so they know that we are all powerful and capable of action.
Since I began my first startup in 2006, every day has taught me a new lesson. One lesson in particular I learned was:
"The greatest risk in life is not taking any."
Though we, as women, have jumped leaps and bounds for our rights, we are still far from equality. Without continuous crucial conversation, all our progress over the last century can easily slip away. It may sometimes seem repetitive, frustrating, and hopeless, but every topic we engage in influences change. The power is in our hands, and it's our responsibility to take control and make these changes for our lives, our daughters' lives, and the world.
I wish us all a happy new year, and may we create a world that will better serve all women and the next generation to come.