Red Dot Foundation works on gender equality, safety and justice. Through our Safecity tech platform we aim to bridge the data gap that exists in reporting sexual and gender based violence and provide communities and institutions with information to end violence against women and girls.
During COVID19 we have witnessed the differentiated impact of the crisis amongst men, women and other genders. Women have in particular shouldered a heavier socio-economic burden. From increased domestic violence, online bullying and harassment to greater loss of employment and increased share of care work, women have disproportionately borne the brunt of the pandemic. As we build back better and think about inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID19, we would like to put forward some of our learnings from our programs in India.
A) Dignity and well being for all — Violence against women and girls is not acceptable. More investment is needed for education on rights, unconscious bias and bystander intervention trainings. More investment is needed for shelter homes and crisis response centres.
B) Mental Health resources — There is a dearth of good quality counselling and mental health resources. More investment is needed for helplines, counselling centres, peer listening circles and education on mental health in schools and colleges.
C) Sustainable Livelihoods — We need more investment for job creation in rural and semi urban areas. COVID19 has shown us that jobs are disproportionately centred in urban areas whilst the rural areas remain under-developed. Women in these rural areas have aspirations for themselves, their families and their communities. Mentorship is critical in bridging the gap in knowledge, building confidence and creating an eco-system of support.
D) Participation of Youth — It is important to give youth a platform to participate actively in social development. By providing the youth with a platform to “learn by doing” we are encouraging active citizenry, responsible leadership and intercultural sensitivity. If we wish for an inclusive and resilient society, we must provide transparent platforms where women and youth can actively engage, dialogue and debate issues and take action to design interventions that work for themselves. They deserve a seat at the table.