There is significant data to back idea that empowering women in the world builds stronger, healthier, smarter and more functional societies. Until recently, however, technology has done little in the way of making it possible for women to go that extra mile in the way of true empowerment. While many simple gadgets were,and still are, geared towards men, there are an increasing number of products which are aimed at women.
We Care Solar manufactures and sells these, funded by Every Mother Counts. Since the vast majority of midwives and doctors have to help women give birth in the dark, it’s designed to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women around theworld. While these solar suitcases are not available over the counter in the developed world, they are currently used in 40 clinics in Malawi, where up to 25% of the health centers have no electricity. The solar suitcase soaks up the sun’s energy during the day, and lights up at night when a medical profession almost needs to be able to see. There are plans to bring this innovative, yet simple, gadget to other clinics across the world.
The Pocket Chainsaw
The Pocket Chainsaw, designed, developed and manufactured by Stunning Gadgets, may seem like a survival gadget at first,but upon closer inspection it’s a really simple cutting tool. It’s particularly useful for women, on the road and in the yard, since it requiresvery little physical strength to saw through fallen branches or other inconvenient timber. The unique, durable and portable design makes it easy to store in a car trunk, backpack or pocket. This is perhaps one of the most useful and simple gadgets ever.
The Infinity Oven
According to the World Health Organisation,three billion of the world’s population are forced to use open stoves and fires to cook and heat food. This leads to the deaths of 4 million peopleannually, mostly women, because of smoke inhalation and household air pollution. The Infinity Oven promises to change all that with a low-cost solution. Using the sun’s heat to power the oven, it enables people to cook just as they would over a regular stove without added smoke and pollution. The oven itself is made from recycled materials, such as oil drums and can reach 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Panasonic Water Purifier
In most developing countries, women are tasked with fetching water for their families. In many cases, the water is polluted, but there is no alternative. Panasonic has developed a very simple water purifier which has the capability of transforming the lives of women in this situation. The solar powered purifier is the simplest gadget you’ll ever see, using titanium oxide in combination with zeolite, which works as a photocatalyst. When exposed to the sun’s UV rays it speedily removes most toxic substances.
The Venus Washing Device
This is a simple gadget developed by an Indian entrepreneur. The gadget simply clips on to the side of a regular bucket in order to make washing clothes easier. Lack of running water, lack of space and lack of finance all contribute to the fact that millions of women across the world still wash clothes by hand. The Venus makes the job faster and more efficient.
The device uses a simple motor which is attached to a drive belt, which turns a wheel and agitates the water, saving up to 50 per cent of the usual time taken and up to 40 per cent of the water used – a real consideration when you have to fetch every bucket from a distant well or tap.
Breast Milk Bank Monitoring
Human milk banks are a crucial system for treating and providing safe donor milk to vulnerable infants. Flash-heat pasteurization, a low-cost, simple method designed for women to use in the home, has recently been used to treat donor milk in a neonatal intensive care unit in South Africa, but its lack of temperature monitoring has been a real issue, resulting in the loss of quite a lot of donated milk.
FoneAstra, a smartphone-based monitoring device, has been adapted to guide the user through the pasteurization process and record and label donations. This does away with expensive machines which are out of reach for many poorly-equipped milk banks in rural areas. The gadget is simple to use and holds the potential to save thousands of children.
Simple Gadgets like this one are designed to help communities meet their clean water and electricity needs. The device uses simple weight displacement; asthe water passes through the filter, it rotates the solar panels through the day which optimizes energy collection by as much as 40%. This saves time and allows people living in rural areas to have access to electricity and clean drinking water.