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Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Woman 2.0

Internet of Things (IoT) has become the buzz word of the Industry and is often misused. Right from the big giants to the startups, they are all in a big rat race to come up with technology innovations or solutions that will help them tap into the billion-dollar market opportunity that it has created.

So, what is IoT? IoT is a technology or concept that will enable an individual, an organization, a city, or a nation for retrofitting their existing system/business model/solutions/infrastructure, which will empower the people to live a meaningful and fulfilled life.

The purpose of the technology or innovations is meant for everyone. It is 'Internet of Everything' which loosely translates to an 'Internet for Everyone.' Per the United Nations, the global population is estimated to be 7.5 billion of which 50% of them are women. This number is growing drastically and is expected to outdo the percentage of men in this world.

A woman is a unique creature. Right from her physiology to her mental makeup - her extraordinary capability is to reproduce, and this makes her vulnerable both physically and mentally. A woman faces a lot more sexism or inequality than a man too often. This makes it difficult for her to find the right balance in her world both at home and work. A woman dons several roles and must fit many shoes her entire life. Right from managing her career, family, children, home, and you name it the list is never ending.

Given the power of IoT, maybe it is time to find use of this technology in helping this multi-faceted individual manage her life, making it easier for her to live. How will IoT ensure the safety and security of a woman right from her place of work to home? Are there some answers?

Recently, in London, a woman was raped by an Uber driver and he stopped the act only when she mentioned that she is HIV Positive. In another incident in India, a 15-year old girl was attacked and her hand cut off by a stalker who had been following her a while.

I myself have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, and like me, there are millions of women out there who are victims too. I am from this game-changing technology world; the question that I am raising is how IoT can help a woman? Can’t it provide the solution to address these challenges that she is facing in her world?

Although, today we are evolving and focussing on women's empowerment, on equality, and on education, there is still a huge gap to fill. Even though the primary objective of IoT technology is to simplify the processes and to remove the overhead in performing a task. While trying to build Smart Cities or Nation that protect and governs an individual's safety and security. Instead, all that I see or read is that with all the advancements the City or Nation are continuing to make, it is still becoming unsafe by the day for a woman to live fearlessly and in freedom.

Today, every woman's prime question is all about her safety, security, and managing her life efficiently. The one thought in every girl or woman's mind is when will I be able to walk freely in the streets and not worry about whether I will get raped or mugged or robbed or molested.

I have put forth my views for you to think how IoT can bring 'True Freedom and Safety' in a woman's world. When will Women get enabled by IoT to face herself equally in this world? How can IoT stop the pedophiles from raping millions of children? How can IoT help women juggle with her day-to-day activities and live safely and securely?

The IoT vision of creating the 'City Safe and Nation Smart' can only be accomplished when every 'Woman in this world feels Safe & Empowered.' Let’s create a world for the 'Smart Woman 2.0'.

Rajashree Rao (Raj) is an Industry Thought Leader & Visionary for IoT/IIoT/Smart Cities, Digital Evangelist, Speaker, Writer, Mentor, and Entrepreneur. While Raj writes on a wide variety of subjects, her favourite topics are IoT Technologies, Leadership, Women's Empowerment, and 'Self'.

Rajashree (Raj) has been in the industry for 17 years, having worked for SAP, Intel, and IBM managing diverse portfolios ranging from Consulting, Business Development, Sales to Large Enterprise Account Management, Channel Partner Management to Marketing & Communications. She has worked with Singapore Government & Public Sector accounts (incl. IMDA, LTA, A* Star, Mindef) on IoT, Smart Nation, and Smart Cities Initiatives.

Raj is a BCom Graduate (Hons.) from Jyothi Nivas College (Bangalore University) in Business Management and has a diploma in Computer Science - E-commerce. She enjoys international Travel & Nature, cooking, and is in the constant pursuit of the spiritual. She is also passionate about women’s empowerment and spends her free time working with women and women’s organization. She is a dedicated mentor who spends her time mentoring & coaching the young aspirants who come to her seeking for guidance in their personal or professional life.

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