Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Safety and Security How much it is safe for women to travel through public transport? Reply To: How much it is safe for women to travel through public transport?

Semantee Chattopadhyay
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Desperately trying to escape wandering hands on a crowded bus; frantically walking home from the station on an empty street after a late-night shift; restlessly waiting for the first train at dawn; nauseatingly having to deal with unwanted stares on the metro are some of the things women face while using public transport. Numerous women are groped, leered at, catcalled every day when they use public transport. More than 80% of women have experienced harassment in public all over the world. More than 90% of sexual harassment goes unreported. This has to be changed and we as a society have to do something about it. More than 80% of women are afraid of being harassed in public transportation. Highly crowded trains during peak hours correlate with most sexual violence scenarios. Crowding isn’t just a comfort issue it’s also a safety issue. Women have indicated avoiding buses at certain times due to being followed on public transit. Public transport is the backbone of cities. It affects our quality of life. In many communities women’s access to education, jobs and health services, in other words, active participation depends on the availability and quality of public transport.
Men and women use public transport in different ways. It is because of their different roles and economic activities. The reason for travelling a woman generally differ from that of men. The frequency and distance of their trips are also different. Safety and perceive social status play a complex role in shaping women’s transport behaviour as they move between urban, suburban and rural areas.
To ensure women’s safety in public transports in India, police, transport agencies, and advocacy organizations need to collaborate and coordinate with one another to reduce sexual harassment and violence in public transport. Initiatives like installing CCTV cameras are not enough, agencies need to measure, plan, implement monitor evaluate and share insights to make long-term progress and deliver concrete improvements.