Groundbreaking women’s health event to challenge gender bias, taboos

First ever women’s health and hygiene conference in Pakistan.

Some of the most serious issues related to women in Pakistan are their well-being and reproductive health. The World Bank has ranked Pakistani women’s general welfare and health among the lowest in the world. The situation, however, is not all that bleak. With the right efforts – implementable, advocated and sustained – things can improve for the better.

Aligning their mission with UN’s Sustainable Goals and in a bid to improve the life of the Pakistani woman, iCube by Peace University, USA and Sustainable Development Policy Institute – SDPI will host #HackThePad in Islamabad, Pakistan has organized a first-of-its-kind Women’s Health And Hygiene Conference on May 14th, 2018 in the capital city of Islamabad.

Through the event, organizers and partners aim to call upon leaders, across all sectors, regions and generations countrywide, to take action, encourage and promote gender parity in the country as well as emphasize the critical importance of a woman’s well-being in the socio-economic and political life cycle of the entire country.

Ranked third highest in the world with the number of maternal deaths; women’s reproductive health especially menstruation, hygiene and well-being are some of the topics are still considered taboo subjects not to be spoken of in public or even in familial settings. According to a UN news report, Pakistan is one of the four countries highlighted where 4.9 million women aged between 18 and 49 years are simultaneously deprived in four SDG-related dimensions.

The report further reveals that 48.1 percent of Pakistani women and girls between the ages of 15-49 years have no decision-making powers especially when it comes to their own healthcare and well-being, though rates vary significantly by ethnicity, location and wealth. In rural areas, for instance, women and girls are 1.3 times more likely to report having no decision-making powers regarding their own health compared to those living in urban areas: 52.4 percent compared to 30.3 percent respectively.

When women are healthy and have an option instead of a chance, development occurs across all sectors and nations prosper. Gender equality and the realization of maternal, and reproductive health and rights are human rights and are absolutely fundamental for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.  Pakistan has largely been a society closed to health issues specific to women. Talking about feminine hygiene is a major taboo even in moderate and educated circles and hence there hasn’t been much progress, let alone invention or innovation.

#HackThePad is all about creating a spirit to invent innovate and investigate to advance the female well-being and the rights and find solutions that have girls and women at the heart.

#HackThePad: The Event

Happening on May 14th, 2018, #HackThePad Women’s Health and Hygiene Conference boasts an array of engaging sessions from keynotes to social enterprise awards, workshops to film screenings, and countless opportunities to engage, gather inspiration, and build a more gender equal country.

Furthermore, A post-conference hackathon will be conducted with the goal to build on the conference’s themes.  The hackathon will not only offer technological solutions but will shed light on points of view and arguments aimed at overcoming women health and hygiene problems, advancing the health, rights and well-being of girls and women.

The conference will include more than 20 talks, panel discussions, workshops and special sessions all together, focusing on how we can achieve a lasting impact for the women and girls in our lives and around us.

#HackThePad will also feature special events including stand-up comedy, a band performance, short film screening, social entrepreneurship awards, and an activity for kids to understand what gender equality means starting young.

This is a call to Volunteers, Speakers, Panelists, Moderators and Sponsors to help make the conference a success in delivering real-life solutions to the problems Pakistani women face.

Recognizing Social Entrepreneurship

The organizers are also inviting nominations for social entrepreneurship awards until May 9th, 2018. Two outstanding entrepreneurs finding innovative ways to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women will be awarded in the conference after the submissions are judged by a panel of experts.

SDPI, WaterAid, Women and Girls Health Initiative, Menstrupedia, WASH United, Menstrual Hygiene Day, The Homeless Period, Emaxer, Digital International, Modern Standards, Sehat Kahani, IRSP, SSWM, MITEF, Herself,, Shopistan, ProPakistani, Code for Pakistan, Ananke are some of the organizations that believe in and are participating to support the cause.

Register Now

Registration to the #HackThePad event is now open and can be found here. To receive the latest updates on Conference speakers, schedules, and events, you can subscribe to their newsletter and follow iCube on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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