“One of the biggest barriers to women participating in elections and taking leadership positions is violence against women in elections (VAWiE), which includes physical, verbal, and psychological abuse in both public and private settings as well as more recent cyber-based assault.” Said Daisy Amdany, Executive Director of CRAWN Trust during the launch of the SayVU mobile application on 5th August 2022 at Sarova Stanley Hotel.
CRAWN Trust, a change catalyst, provides African women and girls with the tools, voice, and platforms through which they can effect change at the individual family, community, regional, national, and continental levels in economic, social, and political spheres. As part of the organisation’s Leadership and Governance programme, CRAWN Trust seeks to contribute to ensuring increased safety measures for women engaging in the electoral processes as voters, aspirants, and candidates and to build solidarity and linkages to promote inclusion of women in the electoral process. The organisation seeks to be instrumental in contributing significantly to addressing the scourge of Violence Against Women in Elections-VAWIE as well as all forms of domestic Gender and Sexual Based Violence-SGBV.
CRAWN Trust with the support of UN Women, Global Affairs Canada, URAIA and the African Women’s Development Fund; in collaboration with New Revenue Solutions Africa, has partnered with Kenlinks Solutions Limited to make available to women the SayVU application. A solution to addressing the challenge of Violence against Women in Elections.
SAYVU is a mobile sensing app for emergencies. It detects emergencies in real-time and autonomously communicates with emergency services when its users cannot. SayVU system provides an individual with the capacity to easily ask for help, while delivering dispatchers and first responders with complete and accurate information within seconds, for quick and efficient response Within a fraction of a second, it provides first responders with richer and fuller information on a user’s situation so that they can act faster and more effectively.
Its components are:
- First responders – Police, Ambulance, IEBC, Family members etc
- Protected Users – End User who could be in Distress or the Woman in Election
- Emergency Contacts – Family members or next of kin
Command and control centre
How the App works
- NEED ARISES: Woman in Elections or User is in distress, or sees someone else in danger
- ALERT SENT: A prompt alert or report with a voice message, images and video is created
- NOTICE RECEIVED: Command & Control Centre, First Responders, Emergency Contacts and Relevant Authorities
- AID GRANTED: Aid is received, and All communication archived for further review
Dr Charles Otieno a consultant with the National Police Service highlighted that there are dedicated police officers across the country that will respond to all the alarms received from women candidates on the ground. UN Women has sponsored 1000 downloads for women candidates and for the next 1001 downloads will cost the person 5 ksh a day. All partners have confirmed its practicability. Mary Njeri from UN Women encouraged participants during the launch to spread peace during this year’s elections. The Application is one of its election preparedness strategies