blank noise - women's safety in india

5 Ideas for Women’s Safety in India Make Amplify’s Shortlist

How might we make low-income urban areas safer and more empowering for women and girls? This question shaped Amplify‘s first grant challenge. The prize? Funding of up to $500,000 from DFID and 14 weeks of design support from

The Amplify program is a five-year collaboration between, OpenIDEO, and DFID’s Innovation Hub—on a mission to transform the way development agencies provide international aid. More than 4,000 people from 42 countries collaborated in the four-month design challenge.

Among the 15 concepts shortlisted, five ideas are projects that would improve women’s safety in India:

Pop-up learning center in Mumbai’s red-light district

women's safety in india - kranti mumbai - ignition school for social change

Kranti, a Mumbai-based nonprofit, empowers daughters of sex workers to become changemakers. They currently provide support through education programs, therapy, leadership development, and mentorship. Kranti wants to expand their programs by establishing a safe space and learning center in Kamathipura.

Redesigning the bus experience

women's safety in india - mumbai best bus

Passionate about sustainable urban development, EMBARQ India’s Sonal Shah is exploring solutions to improve the way women and girls experience public spaces. Sonal’s idea (developed in collaboration with BEST) is to create a manual and two prototypes to make bus commutes safer and more comfortable for women and girls.

Taking over unsafe areas with “talk to me” events

women's safety in india - talk to me blank noise

Blank Noise wants to make cities safer through empathy and trust. The group has run a series of events called “Talk to me” to encourage conversation between strangers in areas deemed unsafe for women. To date, they’ve tested the idea in Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore. The proposed concept involves creating a toolkit for any individual or organization to run “Talk to me” events in their own communities.

Lighting the way to public toilets

women's safety in india - prakasa women's safety

The relationship between public toilets and women’s safety in India has been a hot topic since news of the Badaun rapes. A group of designers have come up with a unique product for improving safety in urban slums: photo-luminescent paint to light the way to communal toilets.

For women, by women taxis

women's safety in india - azad women only taxi

The Azad Foundation’s “Women on Wheels” program creates economic opportunity for low-income women by training them to become professional drivers. So far, the women-only taxi service has reached 200,000 women in three Indian cities. How might they scale this impact to more communities? This concept—developed by Gender at Work and the Azad Foundation proposes a “collaborative laboratory” to start up dozens more “for women, by women” taxi companies.

Amplify will announce winners for the women’s safety challenge on Thursday, 17 July 2014.

Which idea has the most potential to improve women’s safety in India? Share your thoughts in the comments!