112 participants

29 countries

6 teams

Violence against women is learned. It is, at its core, driven by a basic acceptance of gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are less valuable than men and boys. By taking a human-centric approach, design offers new opportunities for breaking the cycle of violence where designers can work to deconstruct and address the social and economic implications of VAWG, while building tools and resources that empower and protect vulnerable individuals.


Held over a two-week period from 10-21 August 2020, the first phase of the Generation Equality Asia Pacific Design Challenge was a virtual design workshop hosted in collaboration with UN Women Asia and the Pacific. What began as a conversation around a complex social issue, concluded with an opportunity and a unifying, global experience that brought together 112 participants, facilitators and thought leaders from 29 countries and across varied sectors and disciplines to brainstorm and identify human-centric design solutions to support the prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG).


The objectives of this collaborative initiative were to design and propose innovative solutions that would target behavioural change. These projects could eventually be implemented and yield tangible results for women and girls, first in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as replicable solutions for people who have been affected by violence against women worldwide.


Embracing the provided challenge statements with creativity and sensitivity, teams produced a series of proposed solutions, which varied to include innovative technological development, supportive infrastructure and thoughtful education campaigns. In order to ensure tangible results, initial proposals presented as part of this phase are expected to be further explored, developed and eventually implemented in future design challenge phases.

To learn more about the Generation Equality Design Challenge, download our Design Challenge Report.  

Phase 1

Phase 1 objectives involved collaboratively brainstorming, ideating and developing a conceptual solution to promote behaviour change to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG)

Phase 2

Phase 2 objectives involved expanding upon proposed concepts to identify associated cost and partnership requirements related to solution development and implementation

Challenge Statements

The main objective identified for the design challenge was to better understand how we can reduce VAWG through targeted behaviour change. Challenge organizers narrowed in on a set of six challenge statements that reflected this goal. Hover on the images to find out how can we reduce violence against women through targeted behaviour change by:

enlisting community
leaders and influencers

leveraging media to
challenge stereotypes

moving people emotionally
and empathically to act

transforming men’s
sense of entitlement

changing the mindset that
VAW is normal

influencing parents to raise
childrento reject harmful
gender stereotypes
and violence

“Such an inspirational learning journey to discover how design can be about social transformation.”

“I really found the trainings insightful, especially the data around prevention, response methods and their impact.”

“It helps inform my current advocacy work and I’ve expanded my research areas as a result of my participation in this design challenge.”

World Design Talk: Design against Gender-Based Violence

As part of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, WDO, in collaboration with UN Women Asia and the Pacific hosted a virtual World Design Talk on 9 December 2020. Concluding the first phase of the Generation Equality Asia Pacific Design Challenge, this event featured participant reflections, showcased some of the outcomes that emerged as a result of this initiative, and discussed future opportunities to leverage design thinking and collaborative mindsets to end gender-based violence and injustice.