'Girly Things' is an app that wants to make menstrual products accessible to every woman
We don't need to establish that when it comes to menstrual hygiene, women don't have it easy.
What with periods being considered a taboo subject and a lack of education around the matter, accessibility to sanitary pads and other products is a privilege.
Author and motivational speaker Tanzila Khan has been fighting for accessibility as a disability rights activist and now she wants to raise a point about menstrual hygiene for women with disabilities.
Speaking to Images, Khan - who published her first book A story of Mexico at 16 - reveals that she has launched an app "that is delivering sanitary napkins to women at home and in urgent situations."
"I am a wheelchair user myself and I've had a very long career - since my mid teens - as a public speaker and an author. I've traveled to different countries, giving public talks and workshops. I have a different lifestyle and I've learned from it a lot. I feel like I should put it to good use and share it with people."
For Tanzila, the app Girly Things PK holds significant meaning.
"One day I was on the road, running my errands as usual and suddenly my period started. I realised I had the money to buy something but the shops around were not accessible to wheelchair users. That got me thinking that there are so many barriers that we women are still facing when it comes to health, which is something so basic. I struggled but managed that day and when I came home, I counted my savings and I started reaching out to people about making this app and invested in it. "
Startup Girly Things PK is available in most cities at the moment and is delivering sanitary napkins at home and some other products as well regarding feminine hygiene.
"We'll soon introduce contraceptives because buying them in person is an uncomfortable situation. Same with many more products related to health," says Tanzila.
Tanzila's aim is to make the app available all over Pakistan, making a point about limited access to affordable and hygienic sanitary materials and disposal options which have left many to manage their periods in ineffective, uncomfortable and unhygienic ways.
Girly Things PK won the 2018 Summit Award for which the ceremony was held in Portugal in March.
Since Tanzila's story is based around the urgency of needing supplies right there and then, she has gone a step further with Girly Things.
"We also have an urgent kit. If you're in public and you press the button 'Help' we will get your location and send an urgent kit to you, which has a disposable undergarment, three pads and a blood stain remover that is an original product by us."
Right now the urgent delivery is happening only in Lahore but according to the activist it will be hitting other cities soon.
At Images we tried Girly Things and the products reached us within 45 minutes, which is the same time as any food delivery service. Due to being our location in Karachi we were unable to try out the 'urgent kit' but a colleague in Lahore was satisfied with the products she received.
The overall design of the app and it's functions are impressive. We especially love the additions that give the app some personality, like earning peridots which can be used in purchase or the quiz feature. The app lets us know there is a lot in store as well, included more products and goodies - cuz some of us need to snack.
"Overall we want women to know that they don't have to feel isolated during that time of the month and know that they have help. We're currently looking for partners in different cities so that we can work on this service," says Tanzila.
Girly Things PK is available on android and ios.