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.
Stockholm Gender Equality Forum
Elsa Dsilva, our Founder, shared her thoughts on ‘Cities for Girls – Guidelines for Feminist Urban Development‘ at the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality. This panel discussion was organised by Global Utmaning. Safecity is a part of Global Utmaning’s Urban Girls Movement for safe cities for girls. The movement works on the theory that a city that is built safe enough for girls will be sage for everyone.
You can watch the panel discussion here- https://www.facebook.com/GlobalUtmaning/videos/1860904843921721/
Anti-Street Harassment Week (8th to 14th April 2018)
This year, for Anti-Street Harassment Week, we asked people to share their feelings, stories and experiences about street harassment. We received a large number of poems expressing the frustration and helplessness of being harassed in public spaces.
Our Safecity Trinidad and Tobago partners, Ms.Brafit, organised a mapping activity to raise awareness about rights and street harassment, hosted interactive events and mapped violence in public spaces.
The event was completely organized by the volunteer team of Geography Students from the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus – Trinidad and Tobago. The volunteer team included about 17 students and 1 neighborhood business in collaboration with Ms. Brafit. The booth was visited by 100 people while about 45 actively participated in the mapping experience and exercise.
Women’s Safety XPrize
Supreet K Singh, our COO and Director and Lauren Anderson, our Board Chair, were on the jury at Women’s Safety XPrize- a $1 million global competition to leverage technology for the empowerment of women across the globe. Elsa D’Silva, our Founder & CEO is part of the technical advisory committee.
Congratulations to all the teams who worked really hard to design practical solutions for women’s safety!
Supreet shares her experience being a judge with us-
“Being a part of the jury at Xprize for Women’s Safety was an extremely exciting and inspiring experience. The jury members came with varied and rich work backgrounds and it wasn’t a surprise when we all realised that the sentiments towards women’s safety were widely shared across the globe. It reiterated our work at Safecity, of how grave and globally present the problem is and how important it is to acknowledge, accept and resolve the issue as a global community.
Hence the two weeks we spent meeting teams from across the world, working with the sole aim of developing a technology to provide safety to girls and women, were some of the most valuable and humbling hours invested.
Platforms like Xprize are a brilliant stage for innovation and progress towards a sustainable society, and I am glad that we are an integral part of that change.”
26th April – Lecture at New York University (Bosch Foundation workshop)
Elsa Dsilva, our Founder & CEO, and Suzanne Goodney Lea, RDF Global’s Board Director, presented our Safecity app at New York University Steinhardt. They discussed specific case studies of our work in Mumbai, Delhi, Kenya and our audits of the Mumbai Railways along with our academic paper on harassment on buses in India. They also presented our work via Zoom with remote participants.
On 7th April, Elsa, our Founder, moderated the Feminist Rani panel on Cybersecurity- Opportunities, Threats and Challenges from a feminist perspective.
The expert panelists Aileen Marques, Priyanka Borpujari and N.S.Nappinai shared their views on the subject and also elaborated on cybersecurity, digital hygiene and redressal mechanisms. You can watch the discussion here.
Read about it here- https://www.shethepeople.tv/feminist-rani/cyber-security-feminist-perspe...
Supreet K Singh, our COO and Director, was a panelist at the Bank of India Securisk Conference on 13th April where they spoke about the issue of women’s safety and why it has become a global concern. They also spoke about the areas we lack in as a community and country.
On 7th April, an event called Breaking Barriers took place at BSEIndia. The main motive of the event was to motivate women entrepreneurs and give them a chance to showcase their products at the event.
We had the chance to meet and interact with entrepreneurs from various backgrounds. Safecity had the opportunity to speak about the work we do crowdmapping sexual harassment in public spaces. There were many who were interested, especially, in knowing how our app works.
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.
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.
Safe Goa Report
Safecity collaborated with the Bachchao project to map sexual harassment in public spaces in Goa. Here, we tried out live mapping where people could place red stickers on places on the map where they had been harassed. The reports were also shared with the police in Goa.
Have a look at the report here- http://thebachchaoproject.org/…/04/Safe-Goa-report-20185.pdf
Updates from Delhi
Know your Rights Workshop
A ‘Know Your Rights’ Workshop was held at the Undergraduate Hostel for Girls in Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi on Friday, 13th April, 2018. It was held as a part of Anti-Street Harassment week. Around 30+ students participated in the workshop.
An activity was conducted by Safecity team at Lodi Gardens on 8th April. The activity was a mannequin challenge in which there were two mannequins posing in an odd manner at different places of Lodi Gardens. The Safecity Delhi team got passers-by to question street harassment through the #MannequinChallenge.
Commission on the Status of Women Podcast
During CSW62 (Commission on the Status of Women), our Founder, Elsa Dsilva did a podcast for the CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Innovation4Change on the topic ‘From the village to the city, women activists innovate to strengthen the civic space’.
She says,”The present statistics are indicative of the social norms that prevent women and girls from reporting. When we experience violence we are often made to feel alone, we are victim-shamed, there is a fear of going to the police. Therefore, harassment becomes normal and trivialised and creates a culture where women are always at the receiving end of further violence.”
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 Ashmita Das’ story on our blog.
When we asked Ashmita about her experience doing an internship with Safecity, this is what she had to say –
“I have learned to say ‘NO’ to what I don’t like and ‘YES’ to what I feel is right. Safecity has taught me to stand up for myself when society points its fingers and most of all, I have learned to love ‘myself’. I have also learned to accept people the way they are.”
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 Tania Echaporia and her journey with us so far here.
“I’m grateful for my mistakes
From illusions of success I wake.
I’m grateful when I’m tired and unruly
It means I’ve made a difference truly.”
We are looking for a Program and Outreach Officer for Mumbai. 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- Unsafe Streets, Effects of the #MeToo Movement on Survivors, The Battle against Street Harassment, Urban Girls Movement and Gender Inequalities in the Workplace.
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?
18th May– Elsa will present our work at the 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