An application to help women in Punjab in Pakistan aims at curbing violence and promoting women’s safety in the province which has one of the highest crime rates.
The application titled PSCA has been launched by the Chief minister’s Special Monitoring unit, Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) and the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW).
With a simple user interface, the application connects the user to police, traffic police, fire brigade and health services as well. With the other two buttons, a woman can file a street harassment report using the app. The app also has a service which connects you to the rescue department. With just a click of a button, the app will send location details to the emergency response team. The GPS enabled application will track the phone location, further to which a first responder team will be dispatched to the location.
One of the features of the application is it lets you mark a place as safe or unsafe. A person can rate the place on various parameters like, openness, people, gender usage etc. Users can upload pictures here for others to see.
“Though the app primarily covers street harassment, it also has a feature for woman who is inside the house and is suffering physical violence to call for help,” said Fauzia Viqar, chair of the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women to The Guardian.
Women’s rights activists feel that this app will not be useful for all, as many women do not have access to smartphones, especially in rural areas of Pakistan.
Ali Amir, MD, PSCA explained the idea behind launching this application. He stressed on making public spaces safe for women. Another official warned people against misusing the application. He told Dawn, “These services are available to everyone but abuse of these services will result in prosecution.”
The app is currently available on Google play store and will soon be available in Apple store as well.