On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the consulate general of Ireland, Mumbai and Red Dot Foundation announced the winners of Data Visualisation Challenge on Women’s Safety. 209 students from Ireland and India had registered for the challenge and 70 students were selected to pitch their visualisations for women’s safety. The students were from diverse education disciplines - Engineering, Information Technology, Social Science, Media, History, and Legal Studies for instance. An eminent jury comprising members from law enforcement, social impact sector, UN agencies and private sector shortlisted six teams to present their ideas to the public for the final round that was held on March 4.
During the three-week challenge, three masterclasses were organised by Red Dot Foundation and University College Dublin. The masterclasses covered gender sensitivity, challenging unconscious bias, use of crowdsourced data and mapping technology for safe spaces, data visualisation methods and human centred design. The masterclass on data visualisation methods was facilitated by faculty of University College Dublin.
The first prize was secured by two teams. ‘Unexpected Assaults’ explored the day, time and age indicators for sexual offences occurring in unexpected locations. They also highlighted that often perpetrators are trusted members of one’s social circles. ‘No Way Home’ created visualisations based on Marvel’s movie universe. They encapsulated the theme of general responses a person in India receives from their family after surviving an incident of gender-based violence.
‘Travelling in a Woman’s Shoes’, which secured second place, visualised data on unsafe public transportation. They demonstrated how this directly affects economic growth by preventing women’s mobility and access to economic opportunities, education and employment.
‘Post Violence Experience of Survivors’, the third prize winners, visualised the post-traumatic experiences of a survivor. Their visualisation was a video focused on emotional aftereffects of a sexual offence that may dictate the decision of a survivor to report or not and the reflection on that incident of violence afterwards.
The teams suggested future solutions that focused on sensitivity and consent education at an early age, safety marshalls on the street, reporting kiosks in public spaces like bus stops, easy access to information to build situational awareness and use of Safecity app for reporting incidents.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity to bring Indian and Irish students together to collaborate and share ideas. Data analytics, especially when visualised in an easy to understand way, makes it possible to fine tune policy and to share information with non-specialists and the wider public. Data visualisation is an essential tool in areas such as gender-based violence as many find it difficult to discuss the problem openly. The calibre of the data visualisations has been truly impressive, and I hope at least some of the students go on to develop a career in this field. I would like to congratulate all the students who participated,” said Alison Reilly, deputy consul-general, consulate general of Ireland in Mumbai.
“Engaging students to think about safety for women and girls through the data visualisation challenge is part of our strategy to involve them in the issue as well as think of solutions. Each of the solutions put forward were powerful in the visualisation as well as a conversation starter. This is important for us to create more spaces for survivors to share their experiences and individuals and institutions to actively think of solutions,” added Supreet K Singh, CEO, Red Dot Foundation.
The aim of the Data Challenge on Women’s Safety was to provide an opportunity for youth to deeper understand the issue of sexual and gender-based violence through data analysis and visualisations; and recommend ideas and possible solutions.
The project connected students across Ireland through UCD College of Science and has been developed with support from Education in Ireland.