Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
The Binance Charity Foundation is using blockchain to help give one million women worldwide access to free sanitary products.
An alliance of 46 companies and organizations have joined together to create a “social-impact stablecoin” to reduce so-called "period poverty." The Pink Care Token (PCAT), when live, will enable people to donate money to a token that can then be exchanged for sanitary products.
“After the women receive the token, they will use the token to redeem their sanitary pads at the supplier,” Athena Yu, executive director of the Binance Charity, explained to Decrypt. “The supplier will come to the school to distribute the sanitary pads to each girl.”
The first location for the Pink Token rollout will be Uganda, with the system set to go live later this month.
According to the health and research organization, PSI, around 2.5 million women worldwide don’t have access to sanitation products. As a result, says Global Citizen, an advocacy group, “women and young girls who menstruate are ostracized from basic activities, like eating certain foods, or socializing, all over the world. The cultural shame attached to menstruation and a shortage of resources stop women from going to school and working every day.”
So far, 12.7 ($140,000) worth of bitcoin has been donated to the project, which will be used to issue an equivalent amount of PCAT on Binance Chain. The organizations supporting the initiative include Alice, a social funding platform built on Ethereum, peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace Paxful, cross-border payment providers Ripple, and blockchain operating system Tron.
But why blockchain? Surely just giving out free sanitary products solves the problem? According to Binance, creating a token rather than simply using a donation platform is to ensure the funds go to the right people. Corruption and misappropriation of funds are hot topics in the charity at the moment–for all the wrong reasons. Blockchain, it is hoped, solves that problem.
“For women living in cities using sanitary pads during a period was routine for every girl,” said He Yi, co-founder of Binance, in a statement. “However, for many African girls, there is a stigma around periods, while sanitary pads are a luxury.”
The charity is currently exploring other countries where girls suffer from period poverty–and crypto donation is accepted–with the aim of rolling out the project in other countries.