As we reflect on the strides women have made this 42nd annual International Women’s Day, it is clear that we have as much work to do now as ever on gender equality. Unfortunately, many women around the world still lack access to education, healthcare, capital and opportunities. First and foremost, we must empower them with safety.
Safety should not be considered a luxury for women – it is a fundamental human right. At least one in three women globally have faced sexual violence, and at least one in five women are assaulted on college campuses in the US alone.
Regardless of social, educational and economic status, the one shared experience that every woman has faced in her life, is feeling afraid walking down the street. Throughout much of the world, a safe commute to school or to work is compromised on a daily basis. As a result, many women are pressured to change how and when they travel, what they wear, and even, for some, whether they leave the house at all. These barriers limit women’s educational and professional advancement.
We know that technology can be the solution to these challenges facing women around the world. Thankfully, technology has advanced exponentially over the past few decades; it is already being used for everything from counting our steps to creating driverless cars to fueling missions to the moon. Yet, with all of this innovation, we haven’t solved one of our most fundamental issues - women’s safety. And that’s what we’re here to change.
Let us use this power of this technology to find a solution for safety, and make every woman truly feel safe in her community. And once she is safe, she can go to school, get a job, build a business, and the ripple effects will be felt throughout her family, her community and our world.
Will you join us?
Please visit the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. Registration is open now through April 28th, 2017 at http://safety.xprize.org/.
Anu Jain is an entrepreneur with a deep commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Anu co-founded several successful ventures including Lavish Life, InfoSpace and Intelius. She is passionate about giving back and making a difference, with a focus on education, girls and women empowerment. Anu believes that everyone should have equal rights to all basic needs as well as the best education possible, regardless of their socio-economic situation.