The safety of women is an important concern in cities around the world. Data shows that women are at risk of sexual harassment and violence in many, if not all cities, especially after dark. This prevents many women and girls from participating in city life. The United Nations has identified the need for safe and inclusive public city spaces as one of its Sustainable Development Goals. The co-founders of Safetipin — one an expert on women’s safety and the other on technology and apps — combined their skills to make a mobile app that addressed this problem.
Safetipin is an app that seeks to use technology and data to make cities more inclusive, safe and violence-free for women and others. At the core of the app is the Safety Audit — a methodology of assessing public spaces that have been used in more than 40 cities around the world, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. It consists of the following parameters, which all contribute to the perception of safety:
Availability of public transport
Safetipin took this methodology and used it to make a mobile app that collects user data for each of these parameters. The app is free to download and can be used in any city around the world. Any user can perform safety audits of an area, and the app collects and shares the information for others to view, creating an interactive platform for people to share data about safety.
So far, Safetipin has collected data in more than 30 cities in India and beyond. This information can help users make safer decisions about where they travel. The data is also shared with city stakeholders to help them improve the safety of the cities by pointing out deficiencies and problems in public spaces that make them unsafe.
The app lets users access safety data immediately, letting them see how safe neighborhoods are and contribute their own findings. Furthermore, Safetipin has a tracking feature through which women can request to be tracked by a friend or family member if they find themselves in a vulnerable situation.
Safetipin has been designed to help women make safer decisions and to provide data to urban stakeholders to improve safety. The aim is to work toward preventing violence against women so they will be able to safely enjoy public spaces in cities all around the world. By deciding to make a mobile app that addressed this important issue, Safetipin’s founders are helping to build safer cities through mobile technology.