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There's now an app that can measure how safe an area is, based on crowdsourced data. Kalpana Vishwanath and Ashish Basu are the cofounders of Safetipin, an app they created with the intention of making public spaces safer for women. First created and launched in India, the idea took its origin from the fear that women and girls experience before traveling to or through certain areas which were known to be unsafe. In India, the debate on sexual violence and how to curb it rages on. Recent years have seen governments pass stricter, more stringent laws and increase security forces, and even pass a law making it compulsory for public buses to install a panic button. Safetipin crowdsources information based on nine factors in order to measure how safe the area in question is. These factors are lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walk path, transportation in the area, gender, and feeling. While the first eight of these are independent variables, the last one, feeling, is a dependent variable and its data is observed in conjunction with the previous ones. For example, if a user feels apprehensive about walking through a certain area, it could be because of fewer people, dim lighting, and the absence of other commuters. A "safety score" is accumulated after a certain number of entries are submitted per area. These scores range from one to ten and are represented respectively by green, amber, or red pins. There are also forums where users can post about things that could affect safety, like malfunctioning traffic lights, broken lampposts or bad roads. The app also provides information about the location of the nearest ATMs and pharmacies, and their hours of operation. What"s more, it can also act as a GPS tracker, allowing the users' loved ones to track their location. It is available in English, Hindi, Spanish, Mandarin, and Bahasa, and is currently operational in 10 Indian cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. It’s also expanding its international presence, already operating in Jakarta, Nairobi, Bogota, and Manila, as well as collecting data in eight other cities, including Rio de Janeiro (just in time for the Olympics), Kuala Lumpur, and Johannesburg. While the app now has more than 100,000 contributions from its users about the safety of different areas, initially, it was difficult to motivate them to contribute beyond the first couple of times. Safetipin then enlisted the help of volunteers, and once users saw more information being added to the app, they started contributing more.   In September 2015, Safetipin partnered with Uber, the car sharing service. After an Uber driver in Delhi had recently been accused by a passenger of raping her, the Indian government had temporarily banned Uber taxis for not having adequate checks in place before hiring drivers. Uber has since installed outward-facing cameras on the dashboards of cars, so that it can photograph different parts of the cities, along with factors like how well areas are lit and how densely populated they are. The data is then sent to Safetipin and used to collate safety scores. In partnership with Uber, Safetipin is planning to expand to 50 cities across Africa, Asia, and South America. These safety scores are useful to the police and other law enforcement agencies in determining whether security in the locality needs to be upped. They can help the police make unsafe areas safer, fix broken amenities, and repair roads. The scores also have the potential of determining the real estate value of the area, as well as increasing or decreasing the business of hotels and restaurants. The co-founders of the app aim to empower its users with knowledge that can enable them to make informed decisions and get from A to B safely.   Download My Safetipin App Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracking App

Wed, 21 Sep, 2016
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There is an oft-quoted line of Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, that “A good city is one where the rich use public transport, not where everyone aspires to own private transport”. Over the past few years, cities are increasingly recognizing that improving public transport facilities is key to enhancing the quality of life of people in cities. Overburdened roads have become a feature of cities, especially in the developing world. You see the same situation whether you are traveling in Manila or Dhaka. Improving and expanding public transport is an important aspect of urban development. Cities have become the vehicle of growth of most countries, and today we see an increasing population in urban centers. In 2014, 54% percent of the world’s population lived in cities, and this is predicted to increase to 66% by 2050. In this scenario, city governments need to improve transport infrastructure and safety. Safety on public transport, especially for women and girls, has become a visible issue in the past few years. Many cities such as Delhi and Mexico have introduced women-only carriages in the metro system while cities such as Seoul have encouraged women to cab drivers. Studies show that women face sexual harassment while using public transport and while waiting at transport stops. Women’s mobility in cities is very strongly affected by the perception of safety. They often make decisions to not go to a place or not take certain kinds of jobs based on the feeling of safety. Thus the lack of safety has repercussions which go well beyond the acts of violence. In order to address these issues, safety audit methodology has been used to identify key problems and seek solutions. The safety audit is a methodology of assessing public spaces that have been used in more than 40 cities around the world. More recently, we have developed an app called Safetipin in India which takes this methodology and has transformed it into a technology tool. Safetipin measures nine parameters including lighting, openness, visibility, security, and public transport. The audit, which can be crowdsourced, generates a pin which is visible on the app. Based on safety audits conducted, a safety score of an area is generated for people to see and use for making safer decisions. The free app that can be downloaded and used in any city in the world. So far data have been collected in over 20 cities in India and globally. The data are visible on the app and can help people make safer decisions about moving around. Data are also shared with city stakeholders to help them improve the safety of cities by pointing out deficiencies and problems in public spaces. While Safetipin is used to understand safety in public spaces, it has been used to conduct studies that specifically focus on public transport in the city of Delhi, and this can be replicated in other cities around the world. In one study, 275 bus stops in the city were mapped to measure the safety score, and these were shared with the Transport Department. The data found that 44% of bus stops had an average score between 2-3.5 out of 5. But the data also showed that 40% of the stops had poor lighting. Improving street lighting was then was given as a recommendation to the concerned stakeholders. It is very important for bus stops to be safe as women often wait there even after dark. One of the key issues that have been identified through safety audits has been the last mile connectivity. It is often possible to reach a metro station or bus stop, but care has to be given to the last mile from this hub to the final destination. Safetipin has been used to do safety audits and identify key issues to address to improve last mile connectivity. In one study of 17 major stations in Delhi, some of the key issues identified were poor para-transit facilities, inadequate infrastructure—including lighting and paths for walking and waiting—and lack of security. Safetipin can be used as a tool in cities across the world to map safety in public spaces. The information helps women make safer decisions, while also providing data for city stakeholders to improve safety in public spaces. The fact that the Sustainable Development Goals include a goal of creating inclusive public spaces shows that this has become an important aspect of urban life. Inclusive and safe public spaces promote democracy and citizenship. Article Source.......blogs.adb.org   Download Women Safety App Personal Safety App GPS Tracking App Family Tracking App

Fri, 16 Sep, 2016
By Kalpana Viswanath
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My SafetiPin is a personal safety app that helps you make safer decisions based on the safety score of an area. Launched back on March 10 following International Women’s Day, My SafetiPin is making communities safer for individuals. The app calculates the safety score of a place based on 9 parameters, and the contribution of users allows us to continuously update our algorithm to reflect how people feel in a place.   My SafetiPin collects primary data about public spaces at night, on a number of parameters. • Lighting• Visibility. Are there ‘eyes on the street’. Can others see you• Diversity. Presence of women and children around• Crowd. How densely crowded is the area• Public Transport. How close it is• Walk Path. Is there a proper place to walk• Security. Are police or private security nearby• Openness. Can you see all around• Feeling. How safe do you feel The app uses your GPS locator to give you safety information about your location. And uses GPS tracking to connect you with friends and family when you feel unsafe. It can also serve as a family locator. Planning to out for the evening? Check how safe the neighborhood is by touching the place on the map. You will see the safety score, for that area. Then select the safest route. The app will then transfer control to Google maps so you can reach your destination safely. Articles Source.....capitalfm   Download My Safetipin App Personal Safety App Women Safety App    

Mon, 12 Sep, 2016
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An audit report by the Nairobi City County and UN Habitat's Safer Cities Programme shows that only 18 percent of the city is safe. The report dubbed "The City's Report on the State of Urban Security" is based on a city-wide urban safety audit carried out between March 2015 and June 2016 by the county government in collaboration with Safetipin, a map-based online and mobile application. As a result of the report, City residents are now able to ascertain the safety of their neighborhoods. The report covered 744 kilometers of roads in Nairobi with the audit showing that only 18 percent of Nairobi is safe, 56 percent of streets in the capital fairly lit, 35 per cent having good visibility and 56 per cent having access to public transport. The report corroborates findings of another one released mid-2016 by Number, a free database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. It placed Nairobi at position 46 in the crime index report with a score of 63.24 and position 231 in the safest cities in the world and a safety index of 36.76 in the 277 cities surveyed.   SAFER LIVING IN CITY   Speaking during the launch, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the unique application provides a holistic approach to addressing safety and security that will foster safer living in the city "This Safetipin application audit has indicated where people feel unsafe and why they feel that way. "With these revelations, the county government will be able to plan and act to effect change through the formulation of informed policies, decisions, and investments that support the promise of a safer Nairobi for its citizens," said Dr. Kidero. He added that the audit report is also expected to provide an opportunity for stakeholder engagement and promote a multi-stakeholder approach to crime prevention that will allow all stakeholders to deliver measurable improvements in safety.   DEVELOP SAFETY STRATEGIES   "This audit will allow all of us, including the national government, to deliver measurable improvement in safety. It also presents us with another step to generate data to help the county in developing strategies to build a safe city," he added. Governor Kidero also revealed that the county was planning to establish a modern center for learning aimed at building the capacity of the county's security team and empower them to better respond to urban management and governance issues arising from rapid urbanization. On her part, co-founder of Safetipin India, Dr. Kalpana Viswanath, said that the technology was a platform that uses data to make cities more inclusive, safe and free from violence, particularly for women and girls, by collecting information and engaging individuals and institutions in creating solutions. "Apart from Nairobi, Safetipin methodology has been successfully applied in New Delhi in India, Bogota in Colombia and Jakarta in Indonesia. "This platform will save lives, make urban dwelling enjoyable and improve the environment for business," she said.   Download Women Safety App Personal Safety App Safety App

Thu, 08 Sep, 2016
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A new mobile phone application that enables city residents to report crime faster and efficiently was unveiled in Nairobi, with initial trials indicating that the majority of city residents felt safe walking on the streets. Known as My SafetiPin, the new application that can be downloaded for free on a mobile phone allows city residents to report crimes in progress, potential criminal activity, and areas where they feel unsafe, all at the touch of a key. The report is then relayed to relevant city authorities. The tool is used to collect data to measure a city’s safety status, which can then be used to develop strategies to make cities safer.   A report compiled through the application by the United Nations and the National Crime Research Centre indicates that eight in every 10 Nairobi residents perceive the city as safe. Only two in every 10 residents felt the city was unsafe. However, the safety of women in the city’s streets at night was rated below average, as was the presence of security officers in the city. Speaking at the launch, SafetiPin founder Kalpana Viswanath said although Nairobi residents felt safe, they also felt that more effort was needed to fight crime through mitigation measures such as the installation of more street lights.   f we do not have good street paths; (if we are) not able to access public transport within three to five minutes from wherever we are in the city, and lack of better livelihoods for residents, then we cannot be safe,” said Ms. Viswanath.   parameters used to measure safety include lighting, open spaces, security from the police or private firms, availability of walk paths, ease of accessing public transport and the percentage of women comfortable to walk in the city at night. National Crime and Research Centre Director Gerald Wandera said Nairobi hosts over 500 private security companies and more private security personnel than the police force. The report stated that only 56 percent of the city was well lit and that Eastleigh and Pipeline states needed more security.   Download My Safetipin App Personal Safety App Women Safety App    

Wed, 07 Sep, 2016
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Kathy Raydings is on a mission- to make sure young women get home safely. In hopes of preventing sexual assaults,"Grandma Uber" has been an Uber driver for about seven months, picking up hundreds of male and female passengers weekly. "I needed to find a way to work for myself, doing something that I enjoyed," Raydings told ABC News. The Australian native decided to become an Uber driver and discovered a newfound joy in her job -- ensuring young women's safety. "It's every young woman's right to have fun, be young and enjoy life. This should be possible for them without the risk of deviant, ill-intentioned drivers taking advantage of their youth and intoxicated state in a negative way," said Raydings. Raydings added that she's heard "so many horrendous stories of young women suffering sexual assault when all they are trying to finish their night, be sensible and go home to their parents. It's my calling to get them home." Raydings said she feels "totally proud" to take care of her passengers. "I go to bed at night knowing that I am making some small, positive difference in these girls' lives," she added, "and it's the best feeling in the whole world." Raydings said she hopes to expand Grandma Uber "all over Australia...Article Source......waaytv   Personal Safety App Women Safety App Family Locator App Family Tracking App

Mon, 22 Aug, 2016
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Mumbaikars are used to seeing women studying, working, playing and partying at all hours of every day in this vast, bustling metropolis. But for French urban planner Audrey Noeltner, one thing struck her: “The first thing I said to my friend when I came here was, ‘Where are the women?’ You just see a lot of men everywhere. I feel like men are constantly staring at me. I think that could be because of my foreign looks, but then I did not experience the same level of the male gaze in China.” Ms. Noeltner, with Julien Fernandez and Charline Ouarraki, runs an independent project that wants to create guidelines for boosting women’s presence and participation in cities and facilitating a gender-based approach to urban policy making. “Our project is about gender equality in public spaces, making cities more enjoyable for women,” she says, “It means being able to go to cafes, play sports, breastfeed babies, use public transport and freely display affection to lovers, even of the same $ex.” Ms. Noeltner and Mr. Fernandez are on a 15-city tour, visiting cities which have woman mayors, meeting women councillors, NGOs, urban planners and common citizens. They have covered cities in Europe, US, South America, New Zealand and Asia before arriving in Mumbai, from where they will head to Africa next. They plan to make a documentary with the interviews conducted so far and form a forum to highlight the idea of what they call “women ability”: how women experience cities. In Mumbai, they, with NGO SafetiPin The Creeps, will take an ‘exploratory walk’ from Khar West on Thursday to hear how women negotiate the city. They also plan to meet Mayor Snehal Ambekar. “We want to find out if cities are better for women when there is a woman mayor,” Mr. Fernandez said, “We ask the mayors about their political journey and what they do to promote women’s safety.” Ms. Noeltner’s experience of $exual harassment in Paris streets made her look for solutions to the problem. “In France, women’s strategy to avoid harassment is plugging the ears with headphones. If I am sitting alone, I am taken for a prostitute. Nearly 70 percent of public equipment — for example, skateboards — is used by boys.” From the cities they have visited, Ms. Noeltner was especially fascinated by Malmö, Sweden. “It was the first time I saw as many girls playing soccer as boys. In the morning, as many men were taking their children to school on bicycles as women. You could see the gender equality. The Chinese city of Kaifeng also had a good number of women freely exercising in the open, breastfeeding or playing Dominoes. In Argentina, feminist graffiti — the political vision and activism of women — was everywhere on the walls.” Acknowledging the role of cultural factors and patriarchy, the researchers stress on the role of urban planners, architects and policy makers in addressing the needs of women. “There is a need to listen to what women want,” Ms. Noeltner says. “Gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting can help understand to what extent money is spent on public utilities for men and women. We should ensure access to public bathrooms, that the environment is not hostile to women, that there are lights, benches, not very high fences in parks [lest escaping a situation gets difficult]. It is not just a question of women’s safety. We have to first acknowledge the inequality in public space.” Source.....http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/researching-womenability-how-women-experience-cities/article8926989.ece   Download Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracking App Family Locator App

Wed, 03 Aug, 2016
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: With a view to enhancing women’s security, the City police have geared up to roll out three units of the Pink Police Patrol. The vehicles, equipped with continuous tracking devices, are among those that will be deployed by the Kerala Police in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode with the prime objective of extending assistance to women, children and senior citizens in distress. According to G. Siva Vikram, Deputy Commissioner of Police, each vehicle will be led by a woman police officer and will have two other women police personnel. The patrol vehicles will be deployed in areas that have high presence of women and will function from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The vehicles will be centred in three regions, viz., Kazhakuttom and nearby areas with special focus on Technopark, the Fort region, and other parts of the Thiruvananthapuram city limits, which include Vellayambalam, Vazhuthacaud and Kowdiar.   The services of the pink patrol system can be sought by contacting the toll-free number 181. While the trial run of the patrol vehicles is under way, the formal launch of the system will be conducted in the first week of August. The patrol cars have been equipped with GPS tracking devices as well as cameras installed on the front and rear sides of the vehicles. The cameras will relay visuals to the city police control room continuously and will enable those concerned to deploy additional forces to various areas whenever necessary. Source....The Hindu Download Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracking App Family Locator App

Tue, 02 Aug, 2016
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The Delhi government will soon start installing streetlights at dark spots identified on east Delhi and north Delhi roads. The Public Works Department (PWD) has received the much-awaited no-objection certificate from the north and east municipal corporations for installation of lights, officials said on Tuesday. The proposed drive by the Delhi government will help address the issue of women safety in these regions and reduce the risk of accidents. Illuminating dark spots to ensure safety of women is one of the key poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party government. A detailed survey was initiated by the PWD to identify the dark spots in these regions. It was found that there are 124 dark spots in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation area and around 7,304 dark spots in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation area. With the department in receipt of the NOC, officials said, the PWD will immediately commence work on lighting up these areas and will install around 82 poles in east Delhi and 3,686 poles in north Delhi. The department plans to use energy-saving LED lights to illuminate the dark spots. PWD is yet to receive NOC from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, officials said. “The proposed drive to illuminate these regions will be initiated immediately and is expected to be completed within 3-4 months in the east Delhi region and within 5-6 months in the north Delhi region. Installing LED lights in these regions will help in reducing the overall electricity consumption and also help generate substantial savings,” an official said. Article source....Hindustan times   Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracker App GPS Tracker App

Thu, 28 Jul, 2016
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While women and girls are increasingly able to realize their rights and contribute to society, they continue to face enormous challenges and disadvantages across Asia. Today data shows that no country can get ahead if it leaves women and girls behind. In the words of former World Bank President Robert Zoellick: “Gender equality is smart economics.” Beyond smart economics, progress on the new Sustainable Development Goals – at the heart of the UN Commission on the Status of Women held last month – will not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.   Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the fourth annual Young Lotus Circle Soirée at the Sun Klein Gallery in New York City, hosted by The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle, a community of individuals, foundations, and corporations who raise private capital to rapidly respond to threats and challenges facing women in Asia.   For example, in India, where domestic violence has become a source of national outrage, Lotus Circle funds were used to support SafetiPin, a mobile app which allows users to conduct “safety audits” in their cities and shine a virtual spotlight on unsafe areas for women. In Bangladesh, Lotus Circle funds are supporting women entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses by developing e-commerce websites that increase their access to information, innovative technologies, and external markets. And in Vietnam, Lotus Circle funding has allowed more than 200 girls in the Mekong Delta region to overcome substantial barriers to continuing their education. Article Source....   Download  Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Locator App Family Tracking App GPS Tracker App

Thu, 21 Jul, 2016
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