CSR: Girl Rising and Vodafone Foundation present a game to break gender stereotypes

MUMBAI: Ruksana’s family are “pavement dwellers” – living on the streets of Kolkata, India, where her father has sacrificed everything to send his daughters to school. Ruksana’s life is filled with danger but she escapes into her artwork and draws strength from her father’s resolve.

Amina is constrained by Afghan society, confined by her gender and expected only to serve men. But this child bride has had enough. She is determined to reject the limitations prescribed by society and to lead others to do the same.

Though her brothers go to school, Suma is forced into bonded labor at age 6. The Nepali girl endures years of grueling work by expressing her sorrow in beautiful music and lyrics. Suma glimpses a different future by learning to read, the first step on the road to freedom.

Ruksana, Amina and Suma are inspiration for millions of girls in India and across the world who are fighting to break the gender-based barriers for accessing education and livelihood opportunities.

Recognising the urgent need to address behaviours and mindsets that lead to perpetuation of gender-discriminatory practices, Vodafone Foundation and Girl Rising came together to connect with adolescents and youth using the power of storytelling.

This led to the development of Girl Rising Game, a unique android-based game that leverages popular Match-3 puzzle game genre to create awareness about such practices and empower users to lead change.

The game was developed under Vodafone Foundation’s ‘Solutions for Good’ initiative that develops technology solutions for addressing social issues and creating large scale social impact. NASSCOM Foundation is the implementation partner for the initiative.

Girl Rising Game has adapted and gamified four real stories from ‘Girl Rising’s flagship film ‘Woh Padhegi, Who Udegi’ to inculcate a better understanding of the barriers to education, and of the commonly held and revered beliefs that fester gender-based discrimination. Vodafone Foundation has supported Girl Rising in the design and development of this educative and engaging game.

P. Balaji, Director – Regulatory, External Affairs & CSR, Vodafone India Ltd, said “Foundation has consistently focused on harnessing relevant technology solutions for addressing critical areas of women empowerment and education. The launch of Girl Rising Game is a result of this strong commitment and a robust partnership with Girl Rising. Using gamification, it addresses the long pertaining issue of gender discrimination with the youth in a more relatable way.”