Raising awareness and solving problems in a connected world
By connecting people all over the world, the internet and social media offers unprecedented possibilities for social change. People are no longer restricted to interacting with those in their geographical community, but can find and form communities online, uniting around a common cause. When it comes to challenging taboos and stereotypes related to hygiene, social media has enormous potential for raising awareness and inspiring change. Hashtags such as, and challenge the silence on menstruation, and global movements such as UN Women’s aim to involve men in female empowerment.
New partnerships and methods of working to solve hygiene- related challenges are also emerging. In 2012, for example, the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank organized a “hackathon”. Developers all over the world were invited to draw on the organizers’ expertise and use their skills to solve sanitary issues, such as developing an app to increase children’s awareness of hygienic habits.