Vodafone is known for its innovative initiatives designed to support and protect women. It made the news earlier this year with its new maternity leave policy that provides female employees with least 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, as well as full pay for 30-hour work weeks in the six months after their return to work. Its "Red Light" app, created out of Y&R Istanbul, provides aid to domestic violence victims and earned the Media Grand Prix in Cannes this year. Now, in India, with the help of Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai, the mobile provider introduced a simple, but smart way to provide protection to Indian women: the self-defense umbrella.
As part of its partnership with M-pesa, a digital wallet that many men working far away from home use to transfer money to their families, Vodafone is giving to women retrieving their transfers this special "weapon." The umbrellas are imprinted with self-defense moves they can employ using the gear in the event of an attack -- a real possibility for those leaving transfer offices with cash in hand.