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FEMTECH is much more than technology in Women's Health

Founder of Interação Mulher

Equity, Health, Well-being and Women

FemTech is a term that was only a few years ago emerged and is still disseminated as largely aimed at technological solutions centred on women's health. But ALL technologies to improve the lives of girls and women can be considered #FEMTECHS and there are many initiatives inserted in the revolution #FemTech, without even realizing it!

Countries with a high rate of lack of access, such as India, and African and Asian regions are developing solutions, in the form of Femtech #Edtech to help girls and women take control of their health, well-being and lives.

Applications that improve girls' and women's access to self-knowledge, self-care, prevention of gender violence, comprehensive mental and physical health, and diagnosis, thus generating their empowerment, often allowing them to access international groups that provide collective opinions to improve their life journey, where without technology it might not be possible, and they also receive news and virtual resources on sexual health, for example, to help them make their decisions and their informed choices.

Here in Brazil, we have some platforms for women's health and well-being, already invested and operating both in B2C and B2B, and great mobile apps and digital platforms multistakeholders that aim to prevent and combat violence against women and girls. Around here, we also have excellent initiatives such as the A GLÓRIA app, designed by Cristina Castro CEO of Instituto Glória, to combat violence against women. Developed together with partners and specialists, Glória is an AI platform aimed at social transformation through an avatar.

Another social impact initiative, which uses simple technologies to support the fight against violence against women, is the justiceiras conceived by public prosecutor Gabriela Manssur, Ceo of @Justiça de Saias Institute together with @Instituto Bem Querer and @Instituto Anne Willians (I took part at the beginning, as a volunteer), due to the increase in cases of violence, during the pandemic, we started in the group via WhatsApp, then a website and social networks were created, today there are more than 11,813 women assisted and more than 10,000 volunteers registered to meet the different needs of the victims, whether it be support for social reception, emotional or physical health, legal and many times of reintegration into the job market, technology, even usual, was fundamental in this support!

There are several other social enterprises in Brazil, with emergency help functions, discussion forums where women can consult professionals (psychologists, lawyers, social workers, etc.), useful contacts at the user's location, and where the collection of this vital aggregate data on gender-based violence, can be used to inform decision-making and public policy.

While most solutions categorized as FemTechs involve technologies, there are non-digital consumer products that leverage material science innovations to improve the lives of girls and women. There are menstrual health and reproductive health startups that are transforming menstruation care by introducing affordable and comfortable menstrual underwear, using innovative and sustainable materials that absorb menstrual blood and wick away wetness and more for information, access, prevention and promotion of integral health, thus generating the well-being and equity of women.

A collective approach to solving challenges that affect women and girls

There are many innovative group(s) passionate about creating lasting change and equality for women and girls. But no one can do ANYTHING alone! Many organizations are STILL working in isolation from each other, which is not interesting when it comes to positive impact. Collective actions are fundamental to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the central component of the UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-25 and the 17 goals (which, although quite different, are interconnected).

Systemic and cultural changes are too complex for any ACTOR to face alone, and broad intersectoral exchanges and collaborations, and not just a marketing perspective, are necessary. Interesting collaborations from participants such as startups, companies, universities and non-profit organizations to learn about the problems each of them is facing and how they are doing it. It's a journey where they learn, exchange ideas and insights, and analyze the broader needs of their target groups to see beyond silos and think in systems.

The result is a collective portfolio of powerful interventions across multiple sectors to benefit the lives of millions of girls and women. Stay tuned soon I WILL BRING NEWS!

**Driving innovators in our society will only be possible with collaborative support between non-profit organizations and academic institutions, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Finance, Education and others, to leverage the power of innovation and technology to advance gender equality in my country (Brazil) and in the world!

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