Female sexual pleasure took center stage at the world’s largest hackathon for women. From Sep. 7-8, 2019, more than 800 women competed in the STHLM Tech Fest Hackathon organized at Stadshuset, Stockholm’s City Hall—the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet.
From dusk to dawn, women from all over the world worked on 10 different challenges presented by different companies, including PSI partner The Case For Her.
The Case For Her’s (TCFH) challenge to break the global stigma of female sexual health took the top prize, the Best of Hackathon Award. The winning entry, an innovative self-help app named Lucy, takes the user through life’s various stages. The goal is to give women and girls knowledge about their bodies and their sexual health while breaking down shame and stigma around pleasure.
Despite significant efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), crucial aspects of women and girls’ health remain absent in development programs. Lack of knowledge, stigma and taboos around key issues like menstruation, female sexual pleasure and menopause are globally pervasive, and as a result, hold back many girls and women from realizing their rights and fulfilling their potential as well as puts their lives at risk. By opening the conversation, TCFH, PSI and other partners aim to contribute to destigmatize and bring more attention—and concrete action—to serious, but often overlooked issues among all women.
A key part of this effort is to break the loud silence around menstruation. As a consequence, girls and women don’t receive appropriate education about their menstrual cycle and fertility, contributing to a lack of confidence and ownership of their own bodies, which are essential elements to make informed decisions throughout their sexual and reproductive health journeys.
PSI partnered with TCFH with the aim to understand the role menstrual health plays in PSI’s network members’ programs and its potential to strengthen and innovate SRHR interventions.
Key insights, highlighted in the Technical Brief for Integration of Menstrual Health in SRHR, include:
- Menstrual health is an entry point and an essential lens through which to understand and approach women’s sexual and reproductive health journeys.
- The menstrual cycle accompanies girls and women from the beginning of puberty until menopause and is an important predictor and indicator of health.
- Changes in bleeding not caused by contraception should be addressed by health workers.
- Menstrual health gives an opportunity to discuss SRHR with young girls and is a tool for them to practice self-care and own their bodies and health.
For more information, please visit The Case for Her’s website.
Banner image courtesy of The Case for Her