Innovation That Matters

Campaign tracks women’s safety in Melbourne on map

Work & Lifestyle

Created by Plan International and Crowdspot, the Free To Be project asked women to map the city locations where they feel safe or unsafe.

Children’s charity Plan International worked with community mapping company Crowdspot to create the Free To Be map. Free To Be asked women in Melbourne, Australia, to share their experiences of living and working in the city, pinpointing places on the map where they felt safe, happy or unsafe. The goal of the project was to gather data on sexual harassment, provide specific incidents as well as general trends to city planners and officials, and make the city a safer place for women and girls.

Now closed to submissions, the Free To Be map includes contributions from 1300 people. The gathered information is being shared with the police service, public transport officials, bar owners, architects, the city council and others. The campaign will provide updates on its progress with the mapped data and encourages people to sign up for updates via the Plan International website.

Many services offer women-only options, like taxis with female drivers specifically for women, trans women and young children. Technology-based personal safety innovations tend to focus on communicating geolocation to nominated contacts, like this app-connected life jacket. How else could technology be used to increase personal safety by identifying and capturing perpetrators?



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