Can a ‘panic button’ on a phone really help deter violence in India?
Last April India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced the government’s order that by 2018 all phones include a panic button and GPS. And this February, pan-India installation of panic buttons was slated to begin. Since then, a debate has raged about whether this is really a step forward to stem the tide of violence against women and girls.
There are a host of technical and access issues, of course. Most phones in India do not include GPS. Feature phones would be reconfigured to accept a single digit ‘alert’ number. Functionality is another issue: in 2016, Indian railways installed panic buttons in the ladies compartments of trains, only for it to be jammed with false prank calls.
But more importantly, do we really need yet another commercial device which serves only to delay the actual work necessary to change male behavior? Why are we dumping yet another burden on women to ensure their own safety? Inquiring minds want to know.
Crystal ball, anyone? Where is #MeToo going in 2019? Its already morphed considerably from its 2006 foundations (thanks, Tarana Burke,) but what’s next?
Bookstore1 hosted our GulfCoast Chapter (USNC-UN Women) for a Community Conversation Sunday, January 14, to look at #MeToo. With the help of Professor Phil Wagner (our local expert on masculinities!) and Julie Jennings, recently back from six years in South Korea, we tackled this head on.
Clear-cut answers we had few of, but we did have lots of great ideas and great book recommendations for more reading.
Over 300 chapter members, leaders, grantees, staff, and volunteers gathered in Washington to celebrate DFW’s 15th Anniversary and help plan the future. The energy, sharing, laughter, and learning could not be beaten! Safe to say we all wanted the weekend to continue – how many conferences can you say that about?
See more on DFW’s Facebook and websiteand, if you’re not a member already – find a Chapter near you and join now!
As one wonderful grantee said at the beginning of her panel remarks, “I didn’t realize it before I came, but this feels like a secret society. You can say anything and everyone just helps you!”