March News 2020
Currently @ LATINNO
On March 8th International Women’s Day is commemorated around the world as a symbolic date to increase visibility on topics of gender equality and women’s rights. In Latin America, massive mobilizations were organized by feminist groups to protest against the increasing femicide rates in the region and the lack of comprehensive policies focused on improving women’s quality of life.
But March was further marked by the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has pushed governments worldwide to adopt extraordinary measures. In Latin America, several citizen initiatives have been implemented to support the measures aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus. In this context, this month’s newsletter presents democratic innovations focused on promoting women’s rights, and the latest initiatives to counter the effects of the current pandemic.
Nina App - Brazil
The Nina App is a smartphone application created by a female citizen of Fortaleza as a mechanism to report sexual harassment in public transport. The app offers a complaint system both for the victim and for witnesses. The Municipality of Fortaleza subsequently collaborated with the developer to incorporate Nina into the city's official transportation app. Thus, when someone reports that they are suffering or witnessing harassment, the security cameras of the bus in which the person is located automatically record and send the images to the Civil Police to allow the identification of the attacker.
The app also offers information about the premises of the nearest Women's House so that the victim can formalize their report. In addition, the application helps to generate previously non-existent data about harassment situations in public transport, which is sent to the local government with the aim of impacting on prevention planning and intervention measures in the mid- and long-run.
#NiUnaMenos App - Transnational
The #NiUnaMenos App was developed by a group of citizens during the #NiUnaMenos Hackathon that took place in Lima in 2016. This digital innovation allows women to report cases of physical and psychological violence, or instances of sexual harassment either in Peru, Colombia or Argentina. It works through a georeferencing system, which allows victims to indicate the place and type of incident. Optionally, users can also add personal data or photos. In addition to being a platform for complaints, the application provides information on the different institutions that can assist those who have been victims of gender violence.
#HackCovid19 - Transnational
#HackCovid19 is a regional initiative that seeks to foster the development of technological solutions among citizens for problems derived from the Covid-19 pandemic. The hackathon is divided in three main phases: the first phase focuses on the presentation of proposals, the second allows to create online working teams to develop the proposal, and the third focuses on sharing the developed solutions through videoconferences and other online resources. Some of the proposals address the access and management of verified information related to Covid-19, and alert systems. This democratic innovation was initiated in Uruguay but its implementation is underway in other countries, including Argentina, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. The project is supported by different actors in each country, including national universities and tech start-ups.