UNFPA India Launches Hackathon to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic, or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women has experienced physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. The most recent data from National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5) also reported that around 29.3 per cent of married Indian women between the ages of 18-49 years have faced domestic violence or sexual violence.

To further strengthen these efforts, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) India – in association with, TechGig, has launched a Hackathon – Crack the Code to prevent and address gender-based violence. This hackathon aims to address key problems, and knowledge gaps and increase access to services for persons with disabilities experiencing risk of gender-based violence in humanitarian situations; and mitigate technology-facilitated gender-based violence.

The hackathon will crowdsource impactful and innovative ideas and turn them into prototypes for scaling up. The programme has three phases — phase one for relevant idea submissions, phase two for selection and mentoring of ideas for prototyping, and lastly, phase three to announce the winners.

This hackathon invites individuals, women-led teams, techpreneurs, civil societies, startups, research groups, and people with diverse lived experiences to submit ideas and solutions to make public spaces, workplaces, homes, and society equal, equitable and inclusive.

The risk of and vulnerability to gender-based violence increases on account of intersections of gender with sexual orientation, disability, caste, and age. Similarly, the risks are known to increase during humanitarian crises such as public health emergencies, natural calamities, and conflicts.

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Today, with the increased use and reliance on technology and digital spaces, we also see the emergence of newer forms of gender-based violence where harm is perpetrated through online spaces. Clearly, it is all-pervasive, and addressing it in all its forms with a particular focus on those with increased vulnerabilities is no longer negotiable.

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“Effectively responding to Gender-Based Violence requires a convergence of great minds, innovative thinking, and multi-sectoral partnerships. UNFPA is excited to launch its first hackathon in India to invite solutions to address GBV. The aim is to discover and deploy effective prevention and response mechanisms for newer forms of GBV, as well as recognize and respond to heightened risks and vulnerabilities among marginalized groups, including during crises” said Andrea Wojnar, Resident Representative, UNFPA India.

“TechGig is proud to partner with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in their crucial mission to #EndGBVForAll. I urge everyone to participate in this hackathon and share your innovative solutions – big and small – to make our world free of violence,” said Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TechGig.

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