Article originally published in GOOD

Sustainable Development Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for
sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build
effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.


Activist and technologist Hera Hussain does not have a lot of free
time. Sure, she has a full-time job as a community manager of the
world’s largest open database of corporate data, but that’s just the
start of it. The London resident runs workshops for a global network of
social entrepreneurs known as MakeSense and, as the founder of advocacy
group Chayn—an
open-source project that leverages technology to empower women against
violence and oppression so they can live happier and healthier
lives—spends a great deal of her time working on issues at the
intersection of tech and gender.

Past Chayn projects have included a hackathon to create solutions to
end sexual violence in conflict zones and an online toolkit for domestic
abuse survivors to build their own legal case. When you look at Hussain
and Chayn’s work, you start to see a theme emerge: using tech to place
agency in the hands of people who are most overlooked by society. It
just so happens, Hussain says, those people most often tend to be women,
especially women of color and those living in the developing world.

“[In the
civil society sector], you either have events that just focus on
women—which is great, because it brings much-needed attention to the
needs of women—or you have events that are completely dominated by men
and are either forgetting that women exist or have separate issues,”
Hussain says. “There’s very little middle ground that uses an integrated
women lens as part of a broader focus of solving societal challenges. ”

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