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Asia’s Biggest Slum Turned Tech Savvy to Fight Against Domestic Violence

  • JWB Post
  •  June 4, 2015

 

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when abuse is practiced in the slum of a city.

Rural-women-education-on-phone

Dharavi, the biggest slum of Asia, became a model for the world with the new Smartphone app. Spread over more than 500 acres in central Mumbai and is home to more than a million people belonging to various faiths, economic backgrounds and even multiple ethnicities, Dharavi challenged this deep-rooted evil of the society.

The Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA) is working with women in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, home to hundreds of thousands, to combat frequent killings, gruesome attacks, kidnappings, rape and harassment. SNEHA launched a project known as the “Little Sister Project” in 2014 to provide women with the tools they need to report violence and seek help. Under the program, women are given a Smartphone equipped with an open data kit and the app “EyeWatch.” The app allows women to report incidents of gender violence by taking audio/video clips and sending an alert to a member of SNEHA.

As per the Guardian’s report, some 160 women are already trained to use the app but the organization, and the people of Mumbai, still have a long way to go.

Reporting violence is the first step in preventing violence, but the next big hurdle is getting the police to act. Data collected from July to December last year by SNEHA showed that of the 345 cases analyzed, only 19% were reported to the police.

Even after facing brutal domestic violence, women mostly continue to live in the abusive relationship with the same man because of financial dependence. Financial independence can be seen as the first and the most important step to help women to stand for themselves.

To conclude, violence against women is the result of ongoing patriarchy and it will not be stopped until we address this mindset.

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