Our Objective: Expand non-reproductive womxn's health and advocacy programs worldwide through grants for research and startups.
Why non-reproductive health? Fertility is a well-funded market with $1.6B dollars provided for research in the USA alone in 2022, compared to the dismal $1M dollars given to vulvodynia (a non-reproductive pain disorder). What's more, womxn's fertility and body autonomy is often politicized. We don't want to add to that. Instead, we see womxn's non-reproductive health as a holistic approach to providing womxn the opportunity for wellness in everyday life. We want to see a world where womxn can access life-changing modalities without a doctor framing her choice with her body's ability to conceive and her symptoms compared to those of men.
How are you going to do this? Historically, health research is funded three ways: government grants, corporate funding, or nonprofit grants. The application process is slow (sometimes taking up to a year) and prioritized by private interests, leaving most initiatives without funding. The results of those funded are typically owned by the investor and, if there is no market basis for the results, the research may go unpublished. Our members are building a treasury that is specifically earmarked for funding womxn’s health research (55%) and femtech startups (45%). We vote on a monthly basis on proposals submitted via our website, funding the initiatives that are most meaningful to the community rather than to the market. This expands the potential for discovery and innovation in womxn’s health research.
Actually worldwide? Yes. One of our core governance directives is that we must fund research and startups equally across the five continents, as womxn are equally distributed across the globe. Womxn's issues in Nigeria look very different from womxn's issues in Denmark, yet most of the world's medical research is done in the Global North. We refuse to perpetuate that paradigm. As such, Asterisk must have an active chapter in each of the five continents — preferably more, according to population density.
We welcome you to join the DAO as a founding member at any level. However, there are a few key roles we’re enthused to fill. Send us your application, here.
The following positions exist to help us with one of our core governance directives: stay abreast of womxn’s non-reproductive health needs around the world at a grassroots level. Ambassadors will coordinate local meetups, share news with the team, and provide feedback on our initatives to ensure inclusivity.