Safecity is working from home and we’re trying to make the best out of this time for everyone. 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.
‘Be a Cyber Saathi’
As part of the Knowledge Cafe, on 25th May, 2020, Cyber SaathiTM an initiative of NS Nappinai along with Red Dot Foundation, hosted ‘Cyber Crime Awareness through a Gender Lens’: A unique educational & awareness online session for youngsters and adults. Its objective was to prepare peer mentors/first responders on the common cyber threats and vulnerabilities faced by youngsters and adults online. The main aim of the session was to create an awareness on the prevailing cyber crimes and remedies available to victims in order to prevent youngsters and others from committing crimes because of ignorance.
Gender Sensitivity was also addressed referencing, the difference between Sex & Gender, Gender Stereotypes, the influence of media & cinema that has a direct reflection on gender roles & norms, challenges during COVID with suggested coping options to reduce or minimize sexual abuse & how to safeguard children during the locked down period.
For the pilot session, there were more than 170 attendees and some of their comments were: ‘very informative’, ‘good presentation’, ‘very thought provoking’. ‘Thank you for organizing the session’ and more. ‘Be a Cyber Saathi’ session, will recur on every 2nd & 4th Monday of the month, covering diverse and relevant information.
SafeCircle: A Safe-Space for the Survivors of Domestic Abuse
Domestic violence or intimate partner violence has been on the rise during the pandemic in India and around the world. In response, we have added Domestic Violence as a new category of reporting and COVID related resources such as food distribution centres, helplines, and mental health counselling services.
We also launched a community support online group called SafeCircle from the 15th of May which is held every Friday at 3PM. This allows the survivors of domestic violence to find a community of support, share strategies, learn different ways to deal with violence and reach out for help if they want to.
We have partnered with various organisations who are providing outreach support, mental health counselling and helplines.
If you believe in our cause and want to support our initiatives for Domestic Violence survivors, then please contribute to Global Giving project for SafeCircle – here. Please do join us in the next SafeCircle and sign up here.
Feminism in Reel Life
In the month of May we facilitated discussions on the theme of ‘Love and Relationships’. We discussed the following movies – ‘Piku’, ‘A Suitable Girl’, ‘Masaan’, ‘Ask A Sexpert’. Each movie was quite unique and involved a discussion around topics of love, sexuality and relationships.
‘Piku’ was about a bond between a father and his daughter, ageing and care, challenges of being an independent woman and the issues around it. ‘A Suitable Girl’ was about three women making every effort to maintain their identities and follow their dreams along with the hovering pressure of arranged marriage which highlighted their complex relationship with family, society and the concept of marriage, ‘Masaan’ shone a light on the taboo around premarital sex, different kinds of prejudices, strict moral code and casteism; all while the characters dealt with their personal relationships while ‘Ask a Sexpert’ called attention to the taboo as well as the stigma around sex it was an insightful look into sex education (or lack thereof) in India.
Since April, Red Dot Foundation – Safecity has been organizing capacity building webinars as a part of our Knowledge Café initiative to spread awareness about gender-based violence through an analytical and interactive approach. The topics covered so far have been Sexual harassment at the workplace, victim blaming, intersectionality and the Indian #MeToo Movement, Female Infanticide, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse.
The sessions tried to present complex issues and case studies in a more accessible format and encouraged critical discussion around these topics. They were also contextualized to highlight the current lockdown situation and its impact on the rising rates of crime and mental illness.
Feedback from the total number of 350 (approx). people who attended, has been extremely positive, with most of the participants rating the sessions a ‘5’ indicating that they found the sessions to be highly informative. Adding to that, there have also been comments highlighting how these webinars made individuals aware about a concept that they would not have considered otherwise, and how these sessions have piqued their interest in researching further about similar issues.
The Safety Gap with Urban Thinkers Campus in the time of Covid-19
Red Dot Foundation is an Associate Member of the UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign and is a working committee member of the Urban Thinkers Campus. Red Dot Foundation hosted a COVID19 Urban Thinkers Campus on The Safety Gap on 11 May 2020.
Over 60 participants along with many community experts gathered to engage in interesting debates on the same and to also address the challenges faced. The main aim of these webinars was to analyze the strategies of response to the COVID-19 crisis and accordingly make recommendations for strengthening resilience within the communities. COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for domestic violence to manifest itself within families, most commonly targeting women and girls. According to The United Nations Population Fund, pandemics increase the risk for gender based violence – especially women and girls who may be at a higher risk of intimate partner violence and also other forms of domestic violence due to increased tension within the household. During such situations, the community structures help, protect and support women and girls against the same.
There were 4 panelists who spoke: Ms. Rekha Sharma, National Commission for Women who focused on measures that are being taken to support women against domestic violence, Mr Pablo Aguilar, CNJUR International Association of Urbanistic Jurisprudence whose emphasis was on the urban systems to promote a new legal Urbanism with protection for citizens, in order to safeguard their future rights in cities, Ms. Jane Anyango, Polycom Development (Huairou Commission), Kenya who explained the current scenarios of increased domestic violence in slum areas and Ms. ElsaMarie DSilva, Founder & CEO, Red Dot Foundation Global, India explained that the solution not only relies on spreading awareness but also on acquiring better data and organized safe anonymous reporting mechanisms for the victims.
Read more about this session here.
Aniket Pratap Singh, a hardworking young man who is pursuing Engineering due to which he has a basic knowledge of technology and has the zeal to learn about everything. Being a freelance graphic designer, he believes that a good design can change the world. With this belief, he joined Safecity just after completing his first year of college as a communication intern in June, 2017. He faced massive difficulties during his initial days when he wasn’t sure about the colour schemes, typography, white and black spaces, contrast and prioritization which are all key elements of any design. But with the help and guidance of the members of Safecity, he’s now able to create designs very easily. His experience while working with Safecity made him realise that the cause for which we are all fighting for is the most basic and humane one yet the hardest to get but he believes that one day we will achieve a world with safer surroundings for each and every individual and as a graphic designer, he is here to do his small part in a big change. To read more about his experience, click here.
Building Inclusive Cities
ElsaMarie DSilva, Founder & CEO, Red Dot Foundation Global and Prathima Manohar, Founder – The Urban Vision both alumni of Leadership Network for Change at Stanford Centre for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, have partnered on an online series that discusses urban challenges around COVID-19.
In this series, Politicians, Mayors, Architects, Economists, Policymakers, Police, Development Professionals, Journalists, and Advocates discuss several issues including food security, policing, the migrant crisis, governance, and accountability, new forms of social currency to address social change, city-level responses to pandemic measures and more.
Find new episodes every Wednesday at 6:00 PM IST / 08:30 AM EST on YouTube.
Our Global newsletter
Do subscribe to the Red Dot Foundation Global newsletter if you would like specific news featuring our work across the globe.
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 in June?
- Feminism in Reel Life; every Wednesday at 3:00 PM. Sign up here.
- Join us in SafeCircle, a Safe-Space for Survivors of Domestic Abuse, every Friday at 3PM.
- Our Youth Ambassadors from Pune and Satara are actively involved with us through our digital initiatives.
- Every Friday at 9 pm IST/ 11.30 am EST join us on Twitter @pinthecreep