Countries in the world are not safe for women ! Violence against women and public harassment to girls is very common and these are widespread problem. Documented facts say that women across the globe fear and experience all manners of sexual violence in public spaces. There are lot of instances from lewd and verbally abusive remarks, touching and groping to rape, there are innumerable instances in some of the safest cities. " Such evils have restricted the freedom of movement of girls and women, leading inability to study, work and participate in the community and recreational activities, the women's right activities said" commented Anupama Katakam in a recent article. Medhavince Namjoshi from Vacha, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works with adolescent girls, says, "The enormity of the problem has to be understood and the issue has to be addressed on mature and massive scale."
The Action Aid UK, this year has conducted survey across four countries has many shocking data on India.The study says that four of the five women in India experience some form of sexual harassment of violence. The north in India is the least safe for women in the overall figures. The average shows a staggering 74 percent of women in the north having experienced harassment. At 67 percent, the south is not far behind. Seventy percent of the women in the north were harassed on the street, says the study. In the north-eastern region, 63 percent of the respondents said they faced harassment while returning after dark.Staring seems to be most common form of harassment. Sixty-two percent of the respondents had experienced it. It may be relatively mild form of abuse, yet uncomfortable and should not be dismissed.Being followed came in second at 53 percent. Insults- name calling and wolf-whistling polled 43 percent and 44 percent respectively. Sexual comments polled 38 percent, groping 38 percent, and indecent exposure 34 percent. The north recorded the highest percentages in all categories.
The Action Aid UK study says respondents in the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups have emerged as most vulnerable:92 percent and 87 percent of them, respectively, have said that they feel at risk in the cities. Additionally, 84 percent of women between 25 and 34 experience some manner of public harassment. Seventy-nine percent of the women surveyed in the age group of 18 to 55 say they have been publicly harassed. The survey reached out to 502 women living in cities across India. Sahjo Singh, director, programmes and policy. Action Aid in India says, " A girl's or woman's ,movements are seriously hampered by unsafe public areas. This can have an effect on many aspects, including the main one of earning an income. It required a a collaborative effort between the state and volunteer agencies to ensure safer spaces. The system and processes have to reform for us to see improvement."
The survey mainly set in two categories:" location of harassment and type of harassment. Public transport was the most unsafe of public spaces, said close to 65 percent of the respondents. Among working women (18-24) and 25-35), 67 percent and 70 percent said this. The next most unsafe things was returning home from work after dark;58 percent of the respondents said they had had experiences.Fifty eight percent said they had been harassed while waking on the streets. In this category 73 percent in the 18-24 age group had experienced abuse. Approximately 40 percent of the respondents felt unsafe and had experienced harassment in parks and other public spaces for leisure activities. About 30 percent of the student categories polled said they dealt with harassment on university campuses; 42 percent said they had to tackle harassment on the way to schools and colleges."
Anupama says in his article, " the state needs to address the problem Mumbai and Chennai have been listed among the safest cities in India. A Quality of Living Survey, conducted by a private consultancy firm released released in February 2016 rates Hennai as the number one among Indian cities. Mumbai has held the 'safest city' position for decades but in is now grappling with the problem of women's safety.........If such deterioration continues , Mumbai will lose its safe city tag."Sanchal Velkar, programme coordinator for the Youth Change and Safe City projects Akshara, an NGO in Mumbai said," when we interviewed 5,000 women in Mumbai as part of the a study on women and public safety in 2011, 95 percent of them said they had experienced staring, pushing, lewd comments and groping in public transport. The problem is that most of the time the women ignores it and so it is not addressed."
In a study conducted by Akshara, Sneha Velkasr said, "public transport was the critical areas of concern in Mumbai. Akshara created a database in 2015 of 522 women and interviewed that extensively on their travelling experiences; 317 were regular commuters while 175 said that they were occasional commuters. Here are the results: staring-56.13 percent, commenting-51.34 percent, unwanted touch-60.92 percent. Some women also named more serious forms of sexual harassment; stalking-29.69 percent, flashing-14.37 percent, pinching-20.50 percent and griping- 15.52 percent. The Ashkara report says, that the percentage of women, who preferred to ignore the harassment meted against them in public places, Many would also hesitate to take action against the harassers for fear of their actions might provoke more harassment."