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Ministry to launch app, chatbot to help counter gender violence

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Women’s affairs ministry secretary of state Hou Samith speaks at a meeting on the development of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) app on August 22. MOWA

Ministry to launch app, chatbot to help counter gender violence

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has developed a Gender Based Violence (GBV) app and chatbot, which will allow women to report instances of women’s rights violations and sexual harassment. It is hoped that this will make tracking incidences of these harmful occurrences simpler, especially among vulnerable women and girls, like those employed in factories.

The ministry held an August 22 consultative meeting on the establishment of an inter-ministerial working group that would work with partner organisations to develop the technology.

Ministry secretary of state Hou Samith said the app and chatbot would make it easier to analyse data.

“The mobile app and chatbot aim to prevent potential abuse of women, including sexual harassment. It will also facilitate support for victims,” she said.

The app will make it easier to provide information on services to victims of violence, as well as make it easier to report and refer cases of violence to the relevant authorities. The app will ensure the victim’s privacy and confidentiality.

The project is scheduled to run for three years, from 2022 to 2024. It expects to gather key data and raise awareness of violence and sexual harassment and hotline/helpline safety networks.

According to a press release by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) – one of the partner organisations working with the ministry – the project will become a network which connects victims to appropriate services.

The UNFPA also explained how the chatbot function would work, saying it would link to the app and to the ministry’s Facebook page.

“To create an automatic response system, the chatbot will display text and voice messages in the Khmer language to enable women and girls to access important information and services,” it said.

“Chatbots will support customers at all stages of the service flow in prevention, risk mitigation, and identifying and providing services,” it added.

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