Afghan women to use technology to stop street harassment
KABUL (Pajhwok): As part of ongoing celebrations of “Women’s History Month”, USAID’s Promote Women in the Economy (WIE) program recognized three women who developed the best concepts for a mobile device application to help females confront street harassment in Afghanistan.
In a statement, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said the applications, developed as part of USAID WIE’s first Code Challenge competition, would allow women to report harassment in real time “as it occurs and identify problem areas, or to send a message to friends, family members, or other nearby users to ask for assistance.”
USAID’s WIE teamed with Code Weekend, the first and biggest software and application developer community in Afghanistan, to recognize the Code Challenge, and nine teams of software developers from across Afghanistan submitted their designs and concepts for anti-street harassment smartphone applications.
Code Weekend founder Jamshid Hashimi said an application (women can download on a smart phone) would help them confront the common form of social injustice in Afghan society.
“This gives Afghan women the chance to be innovative and creative in solving problems that affect not just them but everyone in the society”, he said.
The winners of the Code Challenge are Fatima Shefaie and Alina Niko for their “Harassment Reporting for Mobile,” and Freshta Habibzay for her application “Safe Society.” These three coders will join to form a single team and will receive funding (the equivalent of about $4,400) to develop a single fully functional application.
USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith congratulated the three women and said the US government has a deep commitment to eliminate violence against women and street harassment, a common form of abuse.
“We hope this technology will provide Afghan women with a valuable tool to overcome the harassment they face in their daily lives, and contribute to a decrease in violence toward women in this society,” Smith said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.