UN Secretary General lauds Indian activist for efforts to combat gender-based violence
by The Canadian Parvasi
“It is examples like these that fill me with hope for the future”
~UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
While at the 9th Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilisations in Fez, Morocco on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his opening address, commended Indian activist and social entrepreneur Elsa Marie D’Silva on her efforts to fight back against gender-based violence.
“I am thinking of people like Elsa Marie D’Silva from India, who co-founded a platform that crowdsources and maps sexual violence and harassment. Her efforts are mobilising thousands of young people around the world to break the silence and end gender-based violence,” said the UN Chief in his address.
Guterres also lauded other activists from around the globe, stating, “It is examples like these that fill me with hope for the future.”
D’Silva is the founder and president of the Red Dot Foundation, an online platform that documents sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. The platform is operational in many countries across the globe and has become the leading crowd map tackling sexual harassment and abuse in India, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Nepal.
Having an expansive academic career, D’Silva has been a 2020 Gratitude Network Fellow & 2019 International Women’s Forum Fellow, 2019 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, 2018 Yale World Fellow, 2017 Stanford Draper Hills Summer School Fellow, 2017 Chevening Gurukul Fellow at Oxford University and an alumna of the Swedish Institute (2012) and the US Department of State’s Fortune Program (2016).
According to D’Silva’s website, she is part of the Policy Strategy Group on World We Want 2030 People’s Voices and Action Platform for advancing Agenda 2030 – SDGs – comprised of UN entities, CSOs, private foundations, bi-lateral, academia, media and youth led-organizations. She is also a member of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.