she28: Sustainable Sanitary Products Empower Women in the Developing World
Every year, millions of girls and women in the developing world miss up to 50 school and work because they are menstruating and lack access to the proper sanitary products, which puts them at a severe learning and earning disadvantage. Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) tackles the issue with an innovative market-based solution, countering the long-term inefficiency of the traditional aid model based on donations. They are developing a line of feminine hygiene products using sustainable raw materials like locally-sourced banana fiber and partnering with existing local women's networks for distribution.
Their she28 campaign aims to address the scarcity of affordable, eco-friendly, sanitary products and services for menstruation in the developing world by investing in woman-led and operated businesses in. Each microfinance loan to a female-run business creates roughly 100 jobs and gives 100,000 girls and women access to affordable sanitary pads. Just 12 such franchises could reach a million girls and women.
SHE is the brainchild of Elizabeth Scharpf, a Harvard Business School MBA and World Bank alum whose work on the initiative earned her the prestigious 2010 Curry Stone Design Prize recognizing uses of design that "[improve] people's lives and the state of the world."
You can support the initiative my making a one-time $28 donation or setting up a monthly giving amount – it's an investment of the most rewarding kind.
via Helen Walters
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.