MehfoozAurat is an attempt at making working women feel safer in public spaces using digital technology and field research.
Equip working women in Pakistan with information and tools to make for safer public transport and spaces.
MehfoozAurat, a smartphone application, was developed to provide women with verified routes, emergency services and important information.
A major deterrent to increased female participation in the labour force in Pakistan and similar countries is women safety in public spaces and while using public transport. Harassment and crimes like assault and rape with a lack of effective authorities can significantly hinder more women to join the labour force even with the government pushing for an increase in female workers.
MehfoozAurat was created by mapping the journeys of several working women including teachers and nurses after conducting in-depth interviews along with observing public spaces. With a list of design considerations and pain points, the team brainstormed and developed MehfoozAurat with 4 specific features.
Safe routes were added to alert women of areas and routes marked as unsafe by fellow women. An emergency alert system was implemented to allow women to reach out quickly and effectively in unsafe situations. Audio recording also provided a way for women to document incidents of harassment and misconduct. Finally, self-defence tips were added in both English and Urdu to help women be prepared in identifying and protecting themselves in dangerous situations.
The response to MehfoozAurat was very positive as working women validated its usefulness in making travel and public places more secure and helping create a community that constantly added to marking unsafe routes and potential dangers.