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Can [A] Startup Solve The problem Of Violence Against Women?

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Dec 8, 2014

"Despite massive campaigns, violence against women has increased over the past few years in the country, with dowry becoming a major contributor, according to two development organisations.

Worse still, the form of violence has been more horrifying and brutal than the past, said Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, citing that the number of rapes was 307 in 2008; 393 in 2009; 593 in 2010; 635 in 2011; 508 in 2012; 696 in 2013, and 544 in the last 10 months this year. [via]"

violence-against-women Credit: Uconn Today
violence-against-women
Credit: Uconn Today

This is disturbing. Everyday somewhere in Bangladesh women are being mutilated, violated, shun off from life. It’s maddening to see events after events of this kind. I feel helpless and then exasperated for not being able to do anything to solve this problem. As a nation we have failed big time and we need to find a way out to solve this problem in a sustainable and scalable manner.

It seems the mechanism we have is not sufficient to solve the problem at the level we need to solve it. There are perspectives and debates. There are laws and legal mechanisms to prevent violence against women and all of those laws and mechanisms fail squarely everyday letting a woman to loss her faith on society, civilization and humanity.

This is a real problem to be worried about.

The economic growth, technological advancement and entrepreneurial successes become meaningless when it comes to no use to vital problems that we have.

Question

Can a startup solve the problem of violence against women in a scalable way? Can we solve this problem in an entrepreneurial way?

Reason

I’m interested to dig this question particularly because startup has few unique advantages those other existing solutions don’t have. Say for example: it is lean and it works with a built in speed in it. And mostly it grows fast.

On the same note, a startup idea to tackle this problem will also be financially viable since it has a sizeable population who need this solution.

Example

live safe screenshot
live safe screenshot

LiveSafe is a USA based company that design and distribute technology to students and corporate to tackle this safety related problem. Co-Founded by an American Bangladeshi, Samier Mansur, “LiveSafe technology empowers effective safety-related communication via a campus safety app linked to a cloud-based command dashboard. The goal is for individuals to share information with friends and safety officials about sexual assault, mental health issues, and violence — preventing incidents before they occur.”

This is just one example to consider. More ideas can come and many more ideas should. This is a problem that needs to get solved if we want to move ahead as a nation.

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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