Safecity Monthly Update – May 2016
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.
During the month of May, Safecity has been working across numerous cities in Mumbai and Delhi and has reached out to around 500 people and 100 families through its numerous workshops with communities, corporates and even new recruits creating awareness about sexual harassment in public spaces and in work places. We have reached over 170 women, 170 girls, 90 men and 50 boys and also engaged with a local stakeholder-the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Webinar on Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace
Safecity recently partnered with the Confederation of Indian Industry (Western Region) Indian Women Network (IWN) and hosted a webinar for its members, where almost 100 members were invited.
The webinar was an awareness program on The Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, (POSH) that aimed at helping the employees/employers understand the different provisions of the Act in order to prevent and prohibit sexual violence at the workplace and understand the redressal process in case of an event at the workplace.
The webinar was conducted by our Director, Supreet K Singh.
Using Location Based Trends to Facilitate Sustainable Solutions
Safecity is a platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces which then gets aggregated as hot spots on a map which helps indicate trends at a local level.
Sexual harassment is something very personal and sometimes it is difficult to report to the police because of the long process. Safecity allows people to report anonymously and in detail about the incident of sexual harassment. Safecity is using this data to analyse location based trends and identify the possible structural issues prevalent in these hotspots. We are going a step further to adopt a solution based approach to make public spaces safer.
Safecity is working with stakeholders to mobilize people and rally around the issues to come up with sustainable solutions to make places safer. We have achieved this in a few locations in Delhi and Mumbai where we have used our data to mobilize communities, the police and college students to participate in unique interventions.
One area which has undergone a revolutionary transformation is Sanjay Camp in Delhi. Sexual violence was so ingrained in the neighborhood that people resigned to it as a part of life. It took quite a few weeks getting to know them and for them to open up to us, but once they did, there was no looking back. People felt more at ease reporting stories of sexual violence and the neighborhood youth emerged as leaders organizing meetings with the local police to increase action from their end. A successful toilet complex intervention was one of the outcomes of this community campaign. You can read more about it on our blog here.
In another campaign, Safecity recognized a hotspot in Lal Kuan, Delhi. On speaking to the women and collecting more comprehensive reports from them we realized that the women were facing harassment while going out into the bushes to ease themselves due to the absence of community toilets. Through numerous interventions facilitated by Safecity in partnership with Plan India Gender Resource Centre (GRC) we were able to get a community toilet reopened successfully.
Safecity at 2016 Fortune/US State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Program
Our Founder & Managing Director, ElsaMarie D’Silva was one of 13 women leaders selected to attend the 2016 Fortune/US State Department Global Women’s mentoring program. Her candidature was nominated by the US Consulate Mumbai and this past month she has been in the US for the 3.5 week program.
She was paired with one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders, Sandi Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman and Executive Committee member of Johnson & Johnson and was mentored by Michelle Goodridge, President, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Lauren Moore, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship.
The program was conducted by Vital Voices, an organisation that ElsaMarie is already a part of. The other participants were from Russia, Ghana, South Africa, Vietnam, China, Myanmar and India.
Over the course of the 3.5 weeks, ElsaMarie met many important women leaders – social entrepreneurs, business women, politicians, senators, diplomats and journalists. Many of them were generous with their leadership tips which reassures emerging leaders on handling challenges and integrating work life balance.
Johnson and Johnson was a great mentor company as they created a schedule that was personally and professionally enriching. Their credo was visible in words and deeds and the DNA of the employees. From the mentors to the business leaders to the subject matter experts, everyone was keen to learn more about Safecity and how they could help to make it a stronger organisation. We are grateful for that.
Most of the women leaders spoke about “paying it forward”. As Dina Powell, President of Goldman Sachs Foundation said very eloquently, “Constantly ask yourself where have the women who worked under you reached?”
Through her work with Safecity, ElsaMarie commits to working harder to making public spaces safer so that women and girls can achieve their potential and have a quality of life.
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 Punita’s story on our blog here.
When we asked Punita what changed for her with the campaign, this is what she had to say –
“I thought bringing change was always someone else’s job and I kept waiting for that someone, my biggest learning came with the progress of the campaign when I realized I can bring that change too, sometimes in little and sometimes in big ways and all of it will matter.”
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 Ashwini Syed, our Training Manager who wants to do her bit in creating a safer future for all here.
As a mother of two children, a boy and a girl, I envision a society where gender is not the deciding factor for their career choices and to achieve success in what they decide to do, a society where gender is not a handicap and where respect is given equally.
When I was given an opportunity to work with Safecity, I realized that I not only will be serving the interests of my children but this will be my little contribution to society itself. The satisfaction that one gets from working for the betterment of humanity is beyond measure.
SDG 13 : Climate Action– A Gendered Perspective
For the entire month of May, Safecity made a case for climate action, especially with relevance to women’s higher vulnerability to climate change and the way they are stepping forward as leaders of climate action – one of the targets of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As a part of this worldwide effort, our focus was on Goal 13 – ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’.
Check out our comprehensive blog on all the discussions we conducted this month on SDG 13 here.
Through our tweetchats we are trying to facilitate important conversations around various issues related to gender in general and women’s issues in particular.
Our curators this month conducted 3 tweetchats on the issue of climate change, gender and SDG 13 – Climate Action and one tweetchat on improving safety of women in public transport.
Check out the storified tweetchats here, here, here and here.
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!