Needed for reproductive justice and autonomy: women in design

Powerful groups of mostly men are making decisions about biology and bodies they know little about, leading to suboptimal medical care for women. Engineers have historically oversimplified designs, leading to issues like the Dalkon Shield and Essure devices causing harm to women. Biomedical design teams lack diversity and knowledge of women’s health, resulting in inadequate solutions. Regulatory processes allow for unsafe medical devices like morcellators and transvaginal mesh to enter the market with minimal testing. To address these issues, there is a need for diverse design teams, increased focus on women’s health in engineering education, and prioritizing innovative solutions in sexual and reproductive health. Young women are already stepping up to address these challenges by creating new designs for gynecological exams and democratizing access to birth control. By prioritizing diverse perspectives in design, the field of biomedical engineering can revolutionize women’s healthcare.

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