On March 21, 2023, RAN researchers together with the team working on the SafeBangle under the umbrella of SafeBangle Technologies and Somero Uganda held Focus Group Discussions with the adolescent girls and women of Nakawa (Kinawataka) and Kawempe (Bwaise) to talk about the sensitive and crucial issue of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV). The aim of this engagement was to gain a deeper understanding of what they think SGBV is and how it can be prevented and reported. The discussion was very productive and successful as the women and girls expressed their concerns and shared their experiences. Many of them highlighted that SGBV is prevalent in their communities and it is something that must be prevented and eventually completely wiped out of the communities.

Babirye Ziyada, a Research Assistant at RAN (center in a black floral dress) engaging the girls and women during the community engagement

As part of the discussions, a new technology code-named “SafeBangle” was introduced to the participants. The SafeBangle is a wearable device that can be used to prevent and report SGBV. It is a discreet, stylish bracelet that can be worn by adolescent girls and women in the communities, and in the event of an emergency, it is activated to send a distress signal or immediate notifications to a designated emergency contact/next of kin. The Adolescent Girls and Women of Kinawataka and Bwaise were impressed by this technology and saw it as a potential tool for preventing and reporting SGBV.

Saul Kabali, SafeBangle Lead (standing in a white T-shirt) introducing the Safebangle to community girls and women during the engagement

The RAN team is engaging partners to support scaling of the SafeBangle Technology to benefit girls and women not only in Kinawataka and Bwaise but the entire Uganda and later globe at large.

More photos from the Focus Group Discussions with the Adolescent Girls and Women of Kinawataka and Bwaise about SafeBangle as an SGBV prevention and reporting tool can be accessed on  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sYj8dJf6DHESaGzezzcEFzge04Yhq_VW?usp=sharing

Compiled by:  Valeria Birungi, RAN Administrative Assistant

Edited by: Harriet Adong, RAN Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management