Microsoft Launches Safe@Home Hackathon to Tackle GBV

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Microsoft South Africa is partnering with NPO’s, 1000 Women Trust and TEARS Foundation, to launch the Safe@Home Hackathon which aims to address gender-based violence in South Africa.

Hackathons are aimed at finding solutions to specific challenges through collaborative brainstorming and programming in a short space of time.

The Safe@Home Hackathon will look to facilitate collaboration to create and develop technology-based solutions that will work in the context of South Africa’s unique circumstances and challenges.

“Gender-based violence is one of the most pressing and critical challenges South Africa faces: President Cyril Ramaphosa identified it as the second pandemic our country is currently battling and a war that is being waged against our women and children, with over 40% of South African women experiencing sexual and/or physical interpersonal violence in their lifetime,” says Lillian Barnard, MD of Microsoft South Africa.


A study by the World Health Organisation found that 42 per cent of females between 13 and 23 in the country reported experiencing physical dating violence. The incidence of unreported violence is much higher – and getting worse.

“Violence against women and children is escalating under the current circumstances, with many South Africans confined to their homes. This indicates a clear need to take action to address gender-based violence in South Africa,” says Tina Thiart, founder of 1000 Women.

The virtual hackathon, which will run from 22 September to 19 October, invites the South African developer community to create and develop technology-based solutions to help victims of gender-based violence and vulnerable women and children.

“Our goal is to find real, sustainable solutions to help South Africa’s most vulnerable and at-risk.  Ensuring that we are able to build these kinds of fit-for-purpose technology-based solutions will require partnerships with developers, NGOs in the gender-based violence space like TEARS Foundation and 1000 Women, government, corporate South Africa and other technology players,” says Barnard.

“Together, we will provide the support needed as we call on developers across the country to come together, understand the issues surrounding gender-based violence, and create and develop technology-based solutions that can help save lives.”

South African developers wanting to be part of positive change to help vulnerable women and children can enter to join the hackathon here.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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