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3/5 women in the world face violence. Violence against women is a human right violation & also carries a serious social & financial cost. We believe that leveraging technology & digital media is a secure & innovative way of reaching vulnerable women. To empower women against violence & oppression, Chayn - a global volunteer-led digital network - was created. Started from one laptop in London, the volunteer network now spans more than 75 volunteers across the globe.
Since many of the team members & the Founder were from Pakistan, it was decided that the first pilot of Chayn was going to be tackling domestic violence in Pakistan. Chayn.org is Pakistan's first global volunteer-led crowdsourced website that informs & supports women facing domestic violence. 80% of women in Pakistan face domestic violence in their lives (We Can Report, 2011). Yet, cultural attitudes & the legal & economic status of women prevent them from taking action to protect themselves or, worse, lead them to believe that acts of domestic violence are acceptable, or even their own fault.
Started from one laptop in London three months ago, the project has become a movement challenging Pakistan's biggest & unspoken human rights issue – domestic violence. The global movement has over 30 volunteers range from psychologists to entrepreneurs from Argentina to Greece, India to US, & London to Pakistan contributing to the online & offline initiatives such as crowd-sourcing information, putting up stickers in public bathrooms, hosting events & stirring conversation amongst Pakistan's youth about addressing the prevalence of domestic violence head on. All content on the website has been crowd-sourced from psychologists, lawyers, women's rights activists, students & entrepreneurs specifically suited to Pakistan.
Through the success of the pilot we realised that there was a particular gap in the market. Very few new ideas are tried out & lack of experimentation is one reason why little progress has been made despite huge sums of money being devoted to the problem. Budding social entrepreneurs don't have an effective platform to build on existing best practice while implementing creative ideas, keeping effectiveness & value for money in mind.
Our approach to these problems is to launch Chayn Labs, an open platform, a social & digital enterprise that produces, hacks & incubates bold ideas, leveraging technology to empower women against violence & oppression.