Between Dread and Distance
The question of ‘safety’ in India remains unresolved as always. Data reveals that 52% of urban women feel unsafe walking the streets alone at night. This very fear of harassment have stripped women of their personal freedom and safety. Be it walking, taking a public transport like a bus or an auto, or even opting for the private services offered by Uber and Ola- is anything truly safe for the women in India?
The concept of Uber and Ola while revolutionized, it is a luxury very few can avail. Economically privileged women would prefer booking a cab from these companies that provide plenty information regarding the driver, emergency or panic buttons on phones and a way to track and share one’s location. However, despite all this, several cases of sexual harassments have taken place inside these very cabs.
Crowded buses and other public transports have always been the prime location for sexual harassments faced by women. The crowd offers anonymity and hence the high chances of getting away without accountability. In a study, it was surveyed that 51.4% women have reported instances of harassment while travelling in public transports while 49% men have reported witnessing so.
The situation cannot be eradicated at once. Instead we should aim towards changing the mindset which has internalized and normalised such atrocities that women face on a daily basis. The only way to move forward is to break these stereotypes and mental barriers first.