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Red Chilli Powder Filled Glass Bangle for Women's Self-defense

A hollow glass bangle filled with hot red chilli powder or pepper spray for use by women in self-defense.

Photo of Avi Solomon
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A hollow glass bangle filled with hot red chilli powder or pepper spray for use by women in self-defense:
  • Easy to use: In an emergency, just bonk and break the bangles on the head of the offender. The red hot pepper powder or aerosol will temporarily blind and disorient the attacker providing time for the victim to escape to safety.
  • Relatively low-cost and easy to manufacture: A low cost safety hack would simply involve wrapping the bangle with spaced strips of Sellotape to assuage the breakage impact on the wearer. A "safer" version could be made from a windshield-type glass material (that shatters into harmless fragments) to protect the wearer from any harm upon deployment. Another option to obviate the use of glass would be to use a modded plastic glow bracelet, which can provide an additional measure of assurance to the wearer (light) while traversing darker spaces in the urban landscape. A red indelible dye could also be added to the aerosol to "tag" the attacker. US Patent 5358144 "Self defense bracelet" and it's citing patents offer even more design possibilities.
  • Symbolism: Red is a highly symbolic color for women in many cultures. In India, the breaking of bangles is an event heavily laden with symbolic meaning, occuring ritualistically at widowhood or as an accidental ill omen. Unlike the traditional post-event ritualism, however, the red bangles in our concept are broken DURING the attack, with the final outcome still hanging in the balance, transmuting a potential tragedy into an act of resistance and power, with an ill-omen converted into a saving grace.
  • Deterrent effect: Deterrence can be scaled up by wearing more bangles to enhance confidence. An effective national ad campaign portraying the painful consequences for the attacker along with more positive messages of solidarity with the red bangle wearing women would widen the scope and scale of the deterrent effect. "Don't mess with me, I have THE red bangle!"
  • Hard to steal or lose: Any man found with a red bangle would be subject to public shaming.
  • Community: Every other woman who wears the distinctive red bangle is an instant partner in protection. The red bangle can also serve as a prompt to and a prop in women's self defence training.
  • Local Production: Production of the bangle can be undertaken by a local women's cooperative to ensure a viable design and generate revenue.
  • Healing: Making your own bangle out of molten glass and filling it with the red chilli powder could be a healing/empowerment ritual for survivors of previous attacks.
  • Enlisting men to "protect" women as their "sisters": The Indian Raksha Bandhan ("Sister Protection Bond") festival could be leveraged (with corporate sponsorship) in the context of the red chilli bangle idea to enlist men as "protectors" of their chosen "sisters".

Explain your idea in one sentence.

A hollow glass bangle filled with hot red chilli powder or pepper spray for use by women in self-defense.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

A cheap, practical, beautiful, symbolic, deterrent, effective defence against attacks by men for use by women.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Women living in slums in India. Word of mouth publicity and spread of use.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

A community design workshop can be held for and by women living in slums in Mumbai or Delhi for coming up with and testing an acceptable prototype of the bangle. Pilot production and sale of the bangle can then be undertaken by a local women's cooperative.

Where should this idea be implemented?

Mumbai and Delhi, India.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

Make a prototype and test it with small groups of women.

What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like?

Women and girls would wear the red chilli bangle as a symbol of pride, community and deterrence.
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Attachments (3)


US Patent 5358144 Self defense bracelet


US Patent 5217143 Actuating device for a self-contained fluid dispenser in a bangle


US Patent 6123228 Self-defense ring apparatus

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Inspired by (56)

Be a Warrior Princess Strong and Self-Confident
Self Defense Hidden In Plain Sight
Blow the Whistle
TV show about Pakistan's Female Muslim Superhero
"Ladies Special" : Trains only for women in India
Anti-theft dye packs
A Female Fight Club
An inexpensive jewelry line - "Armor" (the wearable tech advantage)
The Moral "Bro-Code" Community
Gulabi (Pink) Gang -The Indian women vigilantes
Insights from an Indian woman.
Mumbai Local, Ladies' Special
cuff dot io
Shiv Sena Women: Violence and Communalism in a Bombay Slum by Atreyee Sen
Pepper Spray Registration Improvement
Mobile protection - reassurance, deterrence and response from your cellphone in a threat situation
She Strong.
Will you be my train friend?
Shaming the Aggressor?
Dharavi Diary - A Slum Innovation Project
Girls from Dharavi learning to make app to solve their community problems.
Creativity Sparks Community Conversations
Understanding the Power of Shame
Little App developers at Dharavi Diaries
Increasing Safety by Making it Smelly!
Hairclip collects evidence of street attacks
Bracelet tracking device to give women security and independence to travel by themselves
Fashion as Urban Camouflage in Japan
How a simple clipboard can impact safety on the street
Blending Tech Skills and Life Skills, a Recipe for Empowerment from FAT
India launches New SMS Service for Women in Distress
Secure Your Hair and Your Safety: First Sign Hair Clip
Soldiers Wanted
Pepper spray and feeling safe
Screecher Aerosol Personal Alarm
Integrating safety into all components of the environment
Interview with Kathryn Travers of Women in Cities International
Game of Thrones: TV's Best Show for Female Empowerment
How are girls treated during a festival
Biomimicry for Wearable Security
" Women’s Pool "  - Journey Sharing Community Platform (UPDATED with experience map - April 14)
Tagging perpetrators
The Soldiers for Sisters Movement
A Woman Whistles, Community Listens
Eyes in the Back of My Head (A Low Cost Wearable Early Warning System )
Every woman is someone's sister, mother or daughter
Panic Button Buddy
Community Concierge Program
Let's teach her some moves!
The Sound Ring
Safe Woman System
Empowerment of small scale women entrepreneurs in the Mumbai Local Trains.
Use iBeacon technology to track women via apps
Designer women accessories with an integrated security alarm, produced by a social enterprise
Community-Based Support for Women Safety
Updated 26th May: Women SIREN Project:  Women SMS for Immediate Response & Empowerment Networking


Join the conversation:

Photo of Monica Wirawan

Amazing idea! Red chilli powder is something cheap, easy to get, and affordable, I am thinking to bring this idea to women in my society... The bangles would look fashionable but useful as a safety tool from sexual harassment

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