How can policies and programs prioritize the needs and aspirations of women and gender minorities?
Policies, programs, and businesses typically operate keeping the male as default, and erasing the requirements of women and gender minorities. This results in varying degrees of exclusion and harm; for the longest time inflation pressure from airbags in cars was injurious to women and children. Similarly, large scale government programs often don’t budget for their unique needs - sanitary pads and contraceptives were not included as essentials in the initial stages of the pandemic. While the pandemic has brought to light the need to be more intentional, the start-up world is also increasingly acknowledging women as an important segment both as suppliers but also customers (e.g., Agri-tech, Fin-tech). This panel aims to better understand what is holding back progress, and what can be done towards taking a gender lens in policies, programming, and development of products and services.