A pilot study on the safety of women in public spaces in Goa, India
By Chinmayi S K and Tania Devaiah
Women and the streets of Goa (2018) is a preliminary report comprising the findings of the Safe Goa project. Safe Goa is an effort to study the safety of women in public spaces and to advocate for the mitigation of the issues of public safety.
This report draws from the following:
Maps displaying the street-level viewprinted on paper and placed on the field, that is, in 7 different locations in the city of Panjim for victims and bystanders to anonymously log incidents of street harassment and assault. Data was collected from this maps over 5 weeks.
Structured and anonymized interviews with 20 women residents of Goa to record personal accounts of street harassment and to understand the issue in its depth.
5 focus group discussions attended by more than 100 people to understand what public safety means to them and to identify and determine potential interventions.
This pilot study emphasizes the lived experiences of women in Panjim and the meaning they ascribe to “safety” with reference to public spaces in Goa.
We are publishing this design document to serve as a guideline for conducting an interactive event or a workshop to understand and document how intentional Internet shutdowns affect the lives of women, especially those living in sensitive geographies. It takes into account the best practices and principles of organising feminist meetings and is especially focussed on researching questions about women’s access to the Internet.
We first conceptualised and used this design for a two-day interactive and exploratory workshop held in 2017 in Manipur, India in partnership with the Integrated Rural Development Service Organisation (IRDSO). The workshop was a part of a pilot project to research the effects of unreliable mobile networks and intentional Internet shutdowns on the lives and livelihoods of women in Manipur. 16 women activists, NGO workers, and entrepreneurs from Manipur participated in it. A report entitled “Of Sieges and Shutdowns” comprising the findings from this workshop and subsequent research activities was released at RightsCon 2018 in Toronto, Canada.
The event in this document has been envisaged for interacting with activists and organisations functioning in different areas of empowerment of women: human rights; relief for victims of domestic abuse; economic independence; access to education; increasing the participation of women in governance; and so on. This methodology can be used to investigate these questions:
What are their patterns of Internet usage?
How have intentional Internet shutdowns impacted their lives?
We are releasing this document under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license so that other feminist groups conducting research and advocacy on related topics could adopt this design into their pursuits. Feedback, suggestions and comments that could help us enrich this design for future use are welcome and much appreciated. If you would like our help in applying this design to the context of your research or advocacy, please email us: theteam [at] thebachchaoproject [dot] org
A paper submission entitled “Of Sieges and Shutdowns” based on a recent exploratory study by Chinmayi S K and Rohini Lakshané has been selected for the Internet Researchers’ Conference (IRC), 2018. In line with this year’s theme of the conference (“Offline”), the study explores the impact of intentional Internet shutdowns on the lives of women in Manipur, India. It also qualitatively examines the effects of bad mobile network connectivity on the personal and professional lives of women entrepreneurs and activists. Read the full proposal here: https://cis-india.github.io/irc/irc18/sessions/ofsiegesandshutdowns.html
IRC is an annual conference series organised by the Centre for Internet and Society, India.