Monday, 13 July 2015

Protecting Women-Efforts by Papua New Guinea and India

Today’s sad reality is that we live in a progressively ferocious society in which the fear of crime is ever-present. Personal safety has become an issue of significance for everyone, but especially for women. Going out for dinner and not sure which area would be safer at night for a woman traveling on her own? Want to track your daughter to ensure she gets back from college safely?

A map-based mobile safety app may be your answer. Safetipin, intended by the charity Jagori, uses crowdsourcing to rate the safety of areas in Delhi based on factors including lighting, population density, transport and gender diversity. It also acts as a personal GPS tracker, allowing users to be tracked or to trace a loved one. Safetipin is one of thousands of projects being rolled out in cities across the world as part of a United Nations initiative to stem cases of rape, sexual harassment and molestation in urban areas.

From New Delhi in India to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, a small but increasing number of municipalities, charities, companies and community groups are joining U.N. Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative. New Delhi is now one of 25 cities, including Port Moresby, Quito, Kigali and Cairo, to have joined the safe cities project. Some of the initiatives so far include boosting street lighting, installing toilets, setting up help lines and strengthening laws on sexual harassment. Each city first does a “scoping” survey on insights and outlooks towards sexual violence that is used to develop city-specific programs that are evaluated every five years.

In Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, authorities have elevated a market where more than 80 percent of the vendors are women. They have built new infrastructure, including bathrooms and showers, refurbished market stalls, provided access to potable water and established a vendors association. Municipal officials, nevertheless, admit that ending sexual violence is not just about creating infrastructure, but also about sustained public campaigns that dispel sexism and challenge gender stereotypes.


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