GOOD

This Device Making Menstruation Safer for Girls Living in Poverty

The inability to access affordable feminine sanitary products has ramifications far beyond hygiene.

Image by Mariko Higaki Iwai

For girls living in extreme poverty around the globe, getting their periods can be a particularly trying ordeal. Inaccessible or unaffordable sanitary items mean that many young women are left using and reusing menstrual pads over and over again — a process that can be both time-consuming and, particularly, unhygienic.


What’s more, the inability to access affordable feminine sanitary products has ramifications far beyond hygiene. Stigmas against menstruation, coupled with fears over the unreliability of insufficiently cleaned pads, lead some girls in impoverished rural communities to simply sequester themselves at home during their periods, or even drop out of school entirely.

With this in mind, a team of students from the Art Center College of Design has created “Flo,” a multi-purpose device that allows women living in poverty to more effectively clean, dry, and carry around their reusable menstrual pads, thereby making periods safer, and less disruptive to their lives.

[/vimeo]

As co-creator Mariko Higaki Iwai explains, Flo went through a number of testing iterations based on data provided by fieldwork done by the Nike Foundation and Fuseproject, before arriving at its final design.

On its website, the James Dyson Foundation zeroes in on what makes Flo so powerful a tool:

Girls will have access to dry, clean pads that can reduce illness and will be more comfortable, both physically, and emotionally. Girls will be able to work around their menstrual cycle and be in control. By having control over their menstrual cycle, girls do not have to give up on their dreams and can be empowered to pursue what she wants to become.

Flo, reports Business Insider, has already been selected as a top prize winner at the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards. Students from the Yale School of Management are working to develop a roll-out plan for the product, with Flo expected to retail for under $3.

Articles

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.



It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture