My 10 Favorite Discoveries & Inventions for Women in 2012

January 1, 2013 | 0

by Amy Logan

I’m excited to report that 2012 saw a number of wonderful developments for women worldwide. The UN conveniently covered the big ones already, but I wanted to share with you some of the cool lesser-known inventions, discoveries and trends that came onto my radar this past year:

1. Forced marriage smartphone app – If you’re a young girl in the UK whose family is about to marry you off to someone you don’t want without your consent, now there’s an app for that. The no-cost Freedom app offers victims access to help and information and looks like a game to throw off meddling parents. Hopefully, this will encourage other countries to develop similar apps in 2013.

The Rape-aXe

2. Device that bites rapists where it counts – This ingenious invention was launched in 2010, but I just discovered it this year and I love it so much, I’m including it. The Rape-aXe is a condom-like tube that fits into the woman’s body and is lined with rows of jagged plastic hooks that lodge in a perpetrator’s penis upon entry. (Think vagina dentata of legend.) He can withdraw from the woman, but the Rape-aXe stays clamped on and must be surgically removed. The video is quite compelling.

3. Half the Sky Movement launchedNew York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide became a hit PBS series in October and now it’s a full-blown global movement! In fact, I have become a Community Ambassador for Half the Sky and so can you! By holding screenings of the film and collecting donations for approved charities, you can make a difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide while meeting like-minded people in your community.

4. The Secret Society of Women – I love anything that’s secret or mysterious and this site just grabbed me. It’s an anonymous place to vent, share and get advice on all kinds of issues too personal to sign your name to. Global investigative journalist Lisa Ling, who I’m a big fan of, is behind it.

5. Semen is good for women’s minds – Who knew? According to a study, seminal fluid contains anti-depressants and mood-altering chemicals that increase affection and induce sleep and women who have regular unprotected sex are less depressed and perform better on cognitive tests.

6. Sanitary napkins for poor Indian women – An Indian guy noticed that his new wife was using unsanitary rags instead of sanitary napkins during her period, which led him to discover that millions of women do the same to save money for essentials like milk. He invented a way for them to make their own in each community at an affordable rate and gave a funny TEDx talk about it.

7. American women get free preventive health care services – OK, this got plenty of PR but I’m sayin’ it anyway: New rules in the health care law require insurance companies to provide services like gestational diabetes screening, domestic violence screening and counseling, contraception, HIV screening and counseling and more free of charge to 47 million U.S. women covered by certain plans. Hooray!

8. Free app helps college girls avoid becoming victims of violence – The Circle of 6 app connects its user to six of her closest designated friends or family members when she feels vulnerable to potential violence or harrassment. Whether she needs a ride home, a phone call interruption, some advice or an emergency hotline, this app’s got it.

Body armor for women

9. Support for men who want gender peace – I am touched by men who start things to help men become more whole because it usually means more peace between the genders. The Good Men Project explores what it means to be a good man. The 21st Century Man Project, founded by my dear friend Luke Lehman, provides workshops and coaching for men who want to create more love in the world. My friend, Daniel Ellenberg, Ph.D. is a psychologist who founded and directs Strength with Heart men’s groups and workshops.

10. Body armor for women – Current designs of military body armor are too loose  — thus less effective — for 85% of female American soldiers. Finally, the U.S. military is testing body armor designed specifically for women!

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2013 bring even more progress for women — and men — worldwide!

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