Asia Foundation Launches 2six4, Sri Lanka’s First Mobile Application to Combat Gender Based Violence
Colombo, March 13, 2017 — Recently, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with Women In Need, launched the first mobile application (2six4) designed to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka. The launch event on March 8th was held at the Sanath Jayasuriya Stadium Matara with the Minister of Law and Order, Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, and the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Chandrani Bandara, along with several other Members of Parliament and Provincial Councillors. With the unprecedented growth of mobile technology in Sri Lanka, the 2six4 app is an innovative mobile solution designed to reach potentially millions of new beneficiaries and empower citizens, particularly victims of GBV, with vital information and services that can transform lives.
Violence against women, in all its forms, is a prevailing problem across Sri Lanka. While the country has a strong island-wide network of both state and civil society organizations working on GBV issues, a major challenge is the lack of access to information for victims and pronounced gaps in communication between victims and service providers. Working in close collaboration, The Asia Foundation and Women In Need designed a creative mobile solution to bridge significant gaps in responding and reporting GBV incidents.
In Sri Lanka, mobile phone penetration is at 100%, while smartphone penetration is at over 72%, according to latest estimates. The country’s population is increasingly reliant on tech-based products and services (such as mobile applications) resulting in significant impact on different aspects of daily life.
The app builds on The Asia Foundation’s ongoing work on addressing local safety and security concerns in relation to issues of GBV. Tailored to the Sri Lankan context, the mobile app consists of three main features: Emergency (Get Help!), Information to Empower! (i2E) and Assistance (friends to help).
Women In Need, The Asia Foundation’s long standing partner on GBV issues, is a pioneer in Sri Lanka in combating GBV and other forms of violence against women. Recognized as the primary national organization working on GBV issues, Women In Need has 30 centers that offer free legal and counseling services to women and children subject to violence.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.
Read more about the Foundation’s work.
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