June 16, 2022

How migrant women in Geneva bypass digital exclusion

Edgelands had the chance to speak to a dozen female migrants in Geneva to hear their thoughts on the findings of our diagnostic report.

This picture illustrates our findings from the discussion with migrant women in Geneva. On the left we see that there is a variety in the perceived risk of engaging with digital technologies, however, the graph shows that the women predominately viewed the risks as low. On the right, it is clear that the use of technology is relatively high. Examples mentioned repeatedly include WhatsApp, Instagram, Google and Facebook (to name a few).

Photo by Klea Bogdani.

On June 9, 2022, Edgelands had the chance to speak to a dozen female migrants in Geneva to hear their thoughts on the findings of our reportWe were honored to join them, and to listen to their opinions and stories on the topics and themes we explored (see below). This participatory discussion also reaffirmed Edgelands’ commitment to hear directly from the communities themselves before sharing our findings.

So, what did we hear?

On physical security… “Security” was defined as feeling calm and at ease. Physical security was associated with a space where they can close doors easily, where Securitas, a private company which provides security services, is physically present. They also felt safer with surveillance cameras nearby, and would prefer that the government increase surveillance, especially in public places. When asked about how “secure” and “safe” they felt on public transport, we heard that at times, they felt unsafe because of loud, disruptive noises (such as from youth).

There was a general feeling of safety in public spaces and locations such as grocery stores where risk of theft and robbery seems low.

On Using Digital Technologies… The majority of women reported using Gmail, Google, Google maps, Google translate, the TpG app, and social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, WhatsApp, and to a lesser extent Facebook. Conversely, many reported not having access to a laptop, but also that they do not necessarily need one to go about their daily tasks - they prefer to use their phone more generally. When they need support with technological devices, they rely on the support from their children.

**On Digital Awareness…**The women were generally aware of some of the risks of being online, such as phishing scams and the threat of hackers, but it did not appear that these were significant enough to affect their online interactions.

This marked the third conversation of many that Edgelands will be having across different communities in Geneva.

Next up, we have our Edgelands launch event on June 22nd, taking place at Maison Rousseau.

To learn more about some of the events we will host that day, as well as to register, please click here:

Inter-City Panel on the Digitalization of Security

Youth Participatory Discussion on Digitalization of Security