“Every 20 minutes a rape occurs in India. Gender violence, in all its forms, is a broad and complex social problem in India. The horrific 2012 gang rape of Jyoti Singh that captured global media attention deeply impacted me, highlighting my own experience with sexual harassment while living in India. I did not want to be a silent bystander. I wanted to enable Indian women to take charge of their own safety.” Dr. Shruti Kapoor, Founder of Sayfty.
Sayfty has the vision to make the daily lives of millions of Indian women safer by empowering them to take a stance against gender violence. A woman’s safety is her birthright and our programs and initiatives ensure that she feels safe and free from violence.We educate women and girls about the issue of violence against women by using digital media, storytelling and gender role discussions.
Sayfty conducts online campaigns to empower women and girls, making them more aware of their rights and helping them identify and speak out against gender violence. We provide safe spaces (online and offline) for open conversations with boys and men aiming to bring about a fundamental shift in how men perceive violence against women.
Our self-defense workshops instill confidence in women and girls to get away safely when encountering perpetrators.
Challenges We are Overcoming in Making Women Safer
- Changing Mindsets rooted in age-old practices and customs – we advocate for women and girl’s safety. This often conflicts not only with patriarchal norms and rules but also with women’s own internalized beliefs of patriarchy. Thus how do we convince women to think proactively about personal safety. It’s helpful to be aware, alert, and equipped to have the presence of mind to navigate unsafe situations.
- Teaching and Instilling the Respect for Women at an Early Age – the narrative on gender equality needs to change. We therefore believe it is as crucial to create awareness in schools about violence against women and girls and to teach all the importance of gender equality and justice to all. Let’s encourage children to challenge and break gender stereotypes early on in their lives.
- Inciting Citizens to Act – At Sayfty we believe change should begin with the community. Parents lead by example. Believe your daughters when they complain about harassment, believe your friend when they confide in you about sexual harassment. Furthermore, if you witness sexually harassment, don’t be a silent bystander, take action.
- Changing the System – ensuring a zero-tolerance policy for violence against women at every level of governance and implementation. For the most part, women in India live in fear of violence, and feel scared. They make small lifestyle changes because the institution including the laws fail to protect them. The current system is ineffective and inefficient and justice for survivors denied or delayed.