Gates Foundation - Innovations in Materials Science for a Transformative Menstrual Health and Hygiene Product

USAID and Coca Cola, through their Water and Development Alliance (WADA), provide menstrual hygiene management activities at the CEG Talamaty secondary school in Antananarivo, Madagascar. As a result - fewer students are missing classes due to menstrual hygiene issues. Photo credit: Anne Daugherty/USAID

In this Challenge, the Gates Foundation seeks fundamentally transformative and innovative ideas to support the design and development of new menstrual hygiene products that meet key criteria of being responsive to user needs with priority focus on safety, unobtrusiveness, effectiveness (no leaking), cultural acceptability, and sustainability.

While there are a number of challenges related to access to current products, reducing stigma, and shifting social norms, this opportunity is specifically focused on driving transformative innovation in the product development domain. The Foundation is seeking new technologies, including those potentially used in adjacent fields such as materials science, that could be adapted to innovative menstrual hygiene products.

Technology alone does not automatically improve people's lives, therefore, these creative solutions must be contextually grounded and designed in response to the needs and preferences of women and girls living in LMICs and designed particularly with the future in mind.

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