Designing new opportunities for education and action in the fight to end violence against women and girls

World Design Talks: Design against gender-based violence

9 December 2020

Globally, 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide have experienced some form of violence during their lifetime.

Recognizing that violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a learned behaviour, rooted in the wrongful assumption of gender inequality, preventing its spread necessitates not only the adoption of international policy, but also multidisciplinary efforts that bring awareness to the issue and give legitimate voice and resources to victims and survivors. 

By taking a human-centric approach, design offers new opportunities for breaking the cycle of violence. By designing accessible, thoughtful products, systems and services, 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.

As part of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, World Design Organization (WDO), in collaboration with UN Women Asia and the Pacific hosted a virtual World Design Talk on 9 December 2020. With the goal of stimulating open dialogue around the value of design on the issue of VAWG, this event showcased the work being done around the world by designers, activists and innovators to end gender-based violence and injustice. 

The event

This World Design Talk also concluded the first phase of the Generation Equality Asia Pacific Design Challenge, a joint collaboration between WDO and UN Women held earlier this year. The Talk featured some 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. 


Melissa Alvarado
Programme Manager of Ending Violence against Women
UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Bertrand Derome
Managing Director


Srini Srinivasan
President of WDO
Chairman & CEO of LUMIUM DESIGN, Inc.

Wenny Kusuma
Country Representative
UN Women Nepal

Shreya Basu
Program Associate

Rachel Lehrer
Associate Director of Design & Innovation
Airbel Impact Lab

Neha Mann
Product Designer

Lyndsay McLean
Senior Associate
The Prevention Collective

Jackie Namubiru
Field Manager
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)


8:00 EST

Welcome & Introductions

Melissa Alvarado, UN Women

Opening Remarks

Srini Srinivasan, WDO
Wenny Kusuma, UN Women

8:15 EST

Design Against Gender-Based Violence

Understanding GBV: a subject matter perspective with Lyndsay McLean, Senior Associate at the Prevention Collective

Applying design thinking to GBV with Neha Mann, Product Designer at Microsoft

Discussion with Lyndsay McLean and Neha Mann, moderated by Melissa Alvarado

8:50 EST

Success Stories

A presentation by Shreya Basu, Programme Associate at SafetiPin, a social organization working to make public spaces safer and more inclusive for women through mobile apps

A presentation by Rachel Lehrer and Jackie Namubiru of Becoming One, an innovative counselling programme for couples aimed at preventing intimate partner violence in Uganda

9:20 EST

The Future Role of Design in Fighting GBV

A discussion with Srini Srinivasan and Wenny Kusuma, moderated by Bertrand Derome

Presentation of the Generation Equality Asia Pacific Design Challenge Report

9:25 EST

Closing Remarks