Co-Founder of Elbi Natalia Vodianova joins President of The UN General Assembly’s Gender Equality Group

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This week in New York, our co-founder Natalia Vodianova joined other global leaders and advocates in a special group convened by the President of The UN General Assembly. The aim of the group will be to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in local communities around the world. The group met for the first time on Monday with a goal to continue to raise awareness over the challenges that women and girls have to face and to put this issue at the heart of the UN General Assembly’s work. 

Natalia spoke passionately at the event about the connection between women’s health and equality. 18 months ago Elbi and Natalia began working with the largest female health app in the world FLO, which helps tracks women’s periods and ovulation cycles. It now has over 25m users globally and its technology and data are set to revolutionise health issues and actually empower women with regard to their own bodies. 

Menstruation for example and access to clean sanitary products is at best a luxury item and in other cases not available at all. How can we possibly hope to achieve equality and further women in leadership when some girls cannot go to school because of their period and so many cannot afford the basic products. Natalia described that we will not achieve equality while woman and girls cannot access basic hygiene products. The barriers that then face women become even bigger than what's already in front of them. The stigmas and taboos surrounding this stop simply stop these girls thriving.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly said; ‘As the fourth woman elected as the President of the General Assembly in 73 years, I have dedicated my term to women and girls around the world. I strongly believe that as leaders and influencers, we have a responsibility to lead by example. The barriers and stereotypes that women face are similar and sadly familiar. They can take the form of discriminatory laws and practices but can also be less tangible, like social norms, deeply entrenched stereotypes and unconscious bias. This is why this eminent group from such a diverse background in politics, economics, media fashion and philanthropy have come together. Across the world, women will be looking and learning from the experience of this group as to how to break through the ‘glass ceiling’.

Elbi is proud to support Natalia as she takes the Lets Talk message of breaking the cycle of taboos and stigmas surrounding women’s health into the equality space and we will continue to report back on the progress being made wiring the group.