Welcome to Part 2 of our May 2022 Inspirational Interview with Purity Christine Achieng, co-director of the iCut App and The Restorers in Kenya.
Purity Achieng is a software developer in mobile application development who co-directed the development of the mobile application (iCut), which helps girls at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) access help and support. As an FGM activist, she is passionate about human rights activism, especially in defense of young girls and women who are subjected to tremendous traumas.
In this part of the interview, Ms. Achieng shares her thoughts on the benefits of using technology to combat violence against women, The Restorers’ plans for expansion of the iCut app, and the importance involving men and boys in efforts to stop violence against women and girls.
Part 1 of this interview was published on 29 May, 2022.
Photos courtesy of The Restorers.
6. What advice can you share with anti-FGM activists and advocates in other countries who are thinking of using technology such as an app to help victims and survivors?
Technology is a great way to connect victims and survivors to support groups and enable them to get assistance fast and with ease. It is also a good tool to use to organise and run online campaigns and raise awareness. Through these platforms, activists can also connect with one another to establish and enforce policies that protect girls and women from harm. They can also keep up to date with the new policies, methods, and trends that address this menace.
7. How do you think men and boys can help to end violence against women?
Men and boys can help end violence against women by engaging one another in conversations and campaigns that address these harmful practices. This will ensure that more of them are made aware of the effects of gender-based violence and the reasons why it needs to be stopped.
They can also be actively engaged in decision-making platforms that entail stopping violence against women. This will ensure that more men join in to enforce the policies that have been established and that more of them will be willing to assist in reporting cases of such actions.
8. Tell us about The Restorers’ plans for the future. What’s next for the iCut app and does your group have any other apps and tech innovations in the pipeline over the next 5 years?
We intend to expand our reach to other countries in order to enable victims in those countries to get personalised assistance. That is, despite their location on the globe, they will be able to connect to the rescue centres, hospitals, and police stations within their regions. The iCut app will constantly be improved upon in order to make the activities more efficient and effective as we expand our reach.
Currently, we do not have any other apps in play. We are, however, open to innovating more ideas to assist people in various aspects of life.
9. How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support the efforts of The Restorers to stop violence against women?
The Pixel Project’s supporters can assist us in stopping violence against women by collaborating with us to create awareness about the iCut application. This will prepare solid ground for expansion in order to help more women.
They can also engage with us in online campaigns for ending violence against women. This will enable us to connect and collaborate with other FGM activists. Through the growing network of other human rights defenders, the application will reach more victims and eradicate detrimental cultural practices. More global conversations on FGMn and other forms of support would also be highly appreciated.
10.In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?
We can end violence against women by empowering more men to stand against violence against women. Men are one of the pillars in our society and if well equipped, can influence other men to look towards women with care and protection. This goes hand in hand with educating women on various forms of violence and how to keep away from them. This will ensure that women are equipped enough to perceive the signs of violence or violent people and avoid them. We can also establish and enforce policies that protect vulnerable women from harm.