Safecity is growing exponentially and we’re constantly working hard to translate our vision to reality. Because we don’t want you to miss out on our work, we’ve decided to put together a monthly column to tell you about what we’ve been up to. You can sign up for our newsletter here.
Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2018.
On 10th March, Safecity and Prerana Anti-Human Trafficking Centre hosted one of the 150 Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walks at The Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai. We had 33 pairs of mentors and mentees from diverse fields like journalism, art, HR, management, etc.
Elsa D’Silva, our Founder, gave the welcome address while Jennifer Larson, the Deputy Principal Officer at US Consulate General Mumbai, gave the keynote address.
“Mentorship guides you to enlightenment and opportunities through a true leader”, said Debomsita Bhowmick, US Consulate, Cultural Affairs Assistant.
Sakina Vakanerwala, one of the mentees, says, “Everybody had so much to give through their life experience. I’ve started baby steps towards the guidance given by my mentor.”
Mentorship with Vital Voices and Facebook
Last fall Facebook announced Mentorship and Support, a new product where mentees and mentors come together in a private space to connect and progress through a guided program developed by nonprofit organizations. Building upon the momentum of the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walks around the world, Vital Voices is piloting this program with 24 of the 150 Flag Bearer teams this year, and Safecity is one of them!
The panelists explored the reason for the hashtag since breaking the silence around sexual harassment has been extremely difficult. Using social media helped show the extent of the problem but the question was whether it reached out to and resonated with all women in India. They also discussed how organisations and institutions can ensure their work places are safe and thought of ways to get men and boys to be part of the movement and be more sensitive. Priti Patkar, from Prerana- Anti Human Trafficking Centre, said that the campaign unfortunately did not resonate with the group she works with while Bishakha, working in the digital space, said it was a successful campaign in her opinion. Clearly, more collaborative work needs to be done to reach everyone as some are being left behind.
International Women’s Day- POSH Workshop at US Consulate General, Mumbai
On 8th March, #IWD2018, Elsa D’Silva, our Founder, conducted an interactive session on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (POSH) Act and ICCs at Dosti House, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai.
We had over 50 members of different organisations join us, share their experiences from their workplaces and go back with a resolution of making their work places intolerant to any kind of harassment!
Presentation at Gender Friendly Transport– an initiative by Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd and the World Bank India
World Bank invited us to be part of their closed door meeting with the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation on Gender Friendly Transport. Safecity has been conducting safety audits of numerous railway stations in Mumbai. We had the opportunity to present our findings at the discussion on 16th March. Through our audits we have found that sexual harassment is a recurring issue women face on a daily basis. You can view the presentation here.
It was a diverse group of NGOs, the World Bank, Mumbai railways leadership and the police with one agenda of making the transport system gender friendly.
Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace – Way Forward
On 6th March, Elsa D’Silva was part of organising an event at the British Council on behalf of the Chevening Alumni in Mumbai on the POSH Act. The Deputy Head of Mission Paul Carter welcomed the audience and the keynote was given by Mrs Kashmira Mewawala from Tata Capital. This was followed by a panel moderated by Elsa and round tables to collect action points. The session will be documented as a white paper at the national level after several such events across the country by the alumni.
CSW 62 -Addressing sexual violence through tech & crowdsourced data.
On 22nd March, Safecity hosted and was a part of a panel discussion as part of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) in New York. The discussion was on on how technology and crowdsourced data can help address gender-based violence.
Reflections- Know our Team
Aarushee Shukhla, our Volunteer Outreach Officer, speaks of her experience working with the youth this past year, the number of people they have reached out to and their journey in breaking silences.
“In a survey conducted about consent, we came to find that nearly 90% respondents believed that it is really difficult for women and girls to come up and speak about the abuse. My team and I have realised how crucial it is to bring about a change in the mindsets of the people by educating them about their rights and encouraging them to support one another. “
You can read about her experience here in detail.
Safecity- Awareness Partner at Delhi’s Hans Raj College Fest- Noor
Safecity was the Awareness Partner for #Noor– the first ever fest by the Women Development Cell of Hansraj College LP area, Hansraj College on 13th March’18.
Aarushee Shukla and team put up a stall at Noor where they conducted a social experiment about gender wage gap. The observations were both expected as well as surprising. You can read more about it here.
Social Conclave contest
On 11th March, Elsa D’Silva was one of the three jury members at the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Engineering and Management, NMIMS , where the first Social Enclave contest was launched.
She judged the students’ pitches on solutions regarding gender issues. The 13 teams were quite passionate and many of the ideas were very innovative. Such student contests definitely help deepen our collective understanding on the topic of gender based violence and the socio-cultural factors that promote it.
Safecity Emerging Leaders
Safecity is celebrating the journey of people who have emerged as leaders as our campaigns progressed in their communities through our blog series “Safecity Emerging Leaders”. Read the inspiring stories of these individuals who are passionate about making their neighbourhoods safer with Safecity and have taken action in their own special ways.
Read this month’s Emerging Leader Aniket Pratap Singh’s story on our blog here.
When we asked Aniket about his experience doing an internship with Safecity, this is what he had to say –
“As I began with my duties and tasks, I began to be more aware of what sexual harassment meant. At the same time, a few of my female friends shared their experience facing sexual harassment in their daily lives and I was shocked. The truth was so much closer than mere numbers on the internet, it was a truth my friends were facing. I told them about the Safecity app. That day I promised myself that I would do something to change the world and its people but to initiate this process I had to start with myself. I had to change myself first only then could I reach out and try to change others.”
We have several opportunities for you to volunteer and take action. Do check our website.
Know Our Team
Know Our Team is a new blog series that attempts to bring to you the stories of our team, share our experiences, why we do what we do and special moments that have left an indelible mark in each of our lives.
Read this month’s blog by Vanshika Deswal, our Campus Ambassador and her journey with us so far here.
“When I joined Safecity a year and a half ago, I never knew how much different of a person I would become- brave, independent, outspoken and more aware about my rights. I recently got a text message from my senior from school who appreciated me and how I became a more opinionated woman in these years.”
We are looking for a Program and Outreach Officer for Delhi and Bangalore. Do send your CV to [email protected]
Through our tweetchats we are trying to facilitate important conversations around various issues related to gender in general and women’s issues in particular.
During March, we had tweetchats covering varied topics. Check out the storified tweetchats here- Zero Discrimination Society, Safe and Inclusive Workspaces for Women, How can we make Workspaces safe and inclusive for women?, Safety Measures- Personal and Public, Safecity in Online and Virtual Spaces and Unsafe Streets.
That’s all for this month. Keep watching this space and we’ll keep you updated on all our work and exciting activities every month!
What’s in store for Safecity?
7th April– Feminist Rani– Cybersecurity- Opportunities, Threats and Challenges from a feminist perspective
15-18 April – Stockholm Gender Equality Forum
26th April – Lecture at New York University (Bosch workshop)
18th May– WE Rotary Session
21/22nd June– Urban Thinkers Campus, Mumbai- Creating a Resilient and Inclusive City
Every Friday at 9 pm IST/ 1130 am EST join us on Twitter @pinthecreep
Petition to make Holi safer and harassment-free
Safecity is petitioning for safer practices during Holi and for preventive measures to curb sexual harassment during Holi. Do support the petition by signing and sharing widely. https://www.change.org/p/maneka-gandhi-prevent-sexual-harassment-during-...
Research Study– ‘Internet as a Public Space’
We are conducting a research study on the ‘Internet as a Public Space’. Do share your thoughts and experiences on the internet with us. Your contributions are valuable.
You can fill in the form here- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe9J5zkZ0MnW7sH64TAGHU6VDQOj5i5...
Survey on the travelling habits of Indian Women
Safecity is partnering with The Unhotel Company. We are conducting a survey on the travelling habits of Indian women. https://www.red7.me/c/225375
Please do take a moment to fill it out- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdJlZwBl9bZHrf63gqeAR-dbC1XKrWc....