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Breaking Silence, Ending Violence – Elsa D'Silva featured in a documentary by Deutsche Welle

Some of the most devastating human rights violations worldwide are committed against women and girls. Women’s safety is a global issue. In India, the male-dominated nature of public spaces adds to the problem. But social entrepreneurs there are refusing to accept inequality and traditional mindsets. They’re tackling violence against women with the help of technology.

In 2012, the world held its breath as tens of thousands of Indian activists – both women and men – stood united in demands for justice for a young woman brutally gang-raped on a bus in Delhi who later died from the trauma she suffered during the attack. The country was galvanized, and looked on the brink of a social revolution. The event turned into a touchstone for many young entrepreneurs no longer willing to let violence against women go unchallenged. Indian Founders have worked to tackle the issue by keeping it in the public eye, creating safer cities, and seeking to change the image of women as prey or victims. With technology-driven solutions, they’re demonstrating a vision: sexual violence against women worldwide has to stop.

One of them these young entrepreneurs is GDL Member Elsa D'Silva. She and her project safecity were featured by Deutsche Welle TV in the Founders Valey programme.

See for yourself and watch the episode below or on the Website of Deutsche Welle TV.


Founders' Valley: Breaking Silence - Ending Violence (Copyright: Deutsche Welle TV)

Published on February 27, 2019.

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Elsa Marie D’Silva

Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder of Red Dot Foundation Global (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Nepal.

She is an advisor to Women 7 (W7) under the German Presidency and part of the working group on Ending Gender based Violence. The W7 is a group of civil society organizations who come together to promote proposals on gender equality and women’s rights to governments within the Group of 7 (G7). At the same time, Elsa is a D&AD Awards Jury member for Impact (2021, 2022) and Future Impact (2021) and an Impact Council member.

Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, Stanford CDDRL as well as the Swedish Institute Management Program. She is a fellow with Gratitude Network, International Women's Forum, Yale World, Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices , SE Forum, Vital Voices, Fast FWD Philadelphia, Chevening Gurukul at Oxford and a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at NED. Moreover, Elsa is a BMW Responsible Leader, Bosch fellow and is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. She has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact and the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award.

Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.

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Read more about Elsa's work at Safecity and see for yourself in this documentary. She also has a very clear vision for the Global Diplomacy Lab.

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