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Activists plan apps to shield women

Three local activists were yesterday awarded financial support and access to technological expertise to develop mobile apps tackling violence against women in the Kingdom.

With 85 per cent of Cambodians now able to access mobile internet, the aim of the VXW Award is to help women feel safer by giving them more access to information, services and networks at the touch of a button, said Silas Everett, country representative for the Asia Foundation, which launched the award.

Women’s rights activist and blogger Sum Dany, beer promoter rights’ advocate Phay Sreytouch and ActionAid staffer Bunn Rachana are the first award recipients.

They will work with app developers at Golden Gekko, a leading global mobile solutions developer with a significant presence in Phnom Penh, and marketing support from digital agency Sabay. The British government is funding the project.

One of the activists suggested she might try to develop an app that would help women quickly alert family and friends if they encounter trouble, with GPS highlighting their location.

Rachana, who wants to use the award to help address safety in public spaces, said she was aware that mobile technology would not be a silver bullet to protect women.

“I don’t think technology is a magic wand that will come to address the issues. It’s the people’s effort that will address the issues [but] technology can facilitate the process to get it done faster,” she said.

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