In February 2015 more than 70 girls in five international cities participated in the IGNITE International Girls Hackathon, a project of Global Fund for Women. During the Hackathon, girl coders worked in teams to create a new website or application that could increase girls’ access to safe spaces in their communities (both online and physical).


Global Fund for Women believes that girls are powerful catalysts for change and that strong women’s organizations and movements make transformative shifts in power that are crucial to realizing girls’ rights. With the IGNITE International Girls Hackathon we encourage girls to use their talent, ideas and creativity to build real and lasting solutions to one of the most critical issues affecting girls today — access to SAFE SPACES.


Gray Spaces: Online game and website that educate users about sexual consent, inspired by the “Carry the Weight” campaign against sexual assault on college campuses.
WHIM*: 3D animated game and website that educate users about the challenges women often face in accessing safe, affordable, and high-quality sexual and reproductive health information and care.

OHANA*: Body sensor and mobile app to prevent kidnapping and abduction
Talk It Out: Online chat-room application that allows young people to give one another support and comfort around bullying in real-time

Girls’ Secret Talk*: Website that allows users to map sexual predators using Google Maps, allowing women to make informed decisions about how to travel in a city

Venus*:  Website that provides a secure place for adolescent girls in India to learn about a culturally taboo issue — sex
Pravati: Mobile app that gathers emergency services information for women and girls in a given community, including where to access shelters, police, and job training
WAW (We Are Women): Online game that provides self-defense training for women and girls through an avatar participating in every-day scenarios

Não Me Calo (I Will Not Shut Up)*: Website and mobile application that allows users to rate and rank bars and restaurants based on how women are treated there
CooperaDona (Housewives Cooperative): Online job-skills exchange platform, where women can offer and receive new skills to enable them to enter/reenter the workplace

In February 2015 girls in five cities around the world (New York, USA; Oakland, USA; Taipei, Taiwan; Trivandrum, India; and Porto Alegre, Brazil) participated in the IGNITE International Girls Hackathon, a project of Global Fund for Women. For 24-hours the girls worked to design, build, and then present a new application or website that could help girls have more and better access to safe spaces.

The girls came up with creative and impactful ideas — from wearable sensors to prevent kidnapping, to a video game that teaches users about sexual consent, to an online review and rating platform that ranks restaurants and bars according to the way they treat women. The finalists from each country are featured in the IGNITE Geeks Gallery, where you can also learn more about the Hackathon story. The overall winner will be announced in April with a music video produced by singer/songwriter Carolyn Malachi.

Later this year, the winning project will be developed by Global Fund for Women and its partners. The aim is to make the winning product available to women and girls’ human rights defenders around the world.

Follow the Hackathon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #hackgirlsrights

Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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