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#MeToo throws Light on Cities' Unsafe Spaces

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With the #MeToo campaign on social media leading to strong calls for action against sexual harassment by sharing their own experiences, data collected through the "Safetipin" application shows 37% of unsafe locations reported by women in Delhi have poor visibility at night.

Real-time data collected by Safetipin, which allows women to report unsafe spaces, points to a major problem with public spaces with poor visibility adding to the prospects of abuse and harassment. In contrast in Mumbai and Bengaluru, 40% and 35% of the city's locations reported by women have been positively rated in terms of visibility. However, in Bengaluru out of 1,881 bus stops audited, 25% scored poorly in terms of safety.

The reports seem to tally with the tweets and posts on social media that show that besides incestuous abuse and harassment by colleagues, public spaces and transport are a major challenge as far as harassment goes.

While the ministry of women and child development has no recent government study to bank on to assess the magnitude of the problem, it is planning to commission one on sexual harassment to establish concerns and look at measures to tackle it. For now what is available are some past studies and safety audit reports that reflect the magnitude of the problem as reflected by the #MeToo.

Real-time data collected through the Safetipin application which allows women to report unsafe spaces how they feel about certain spaces shows that in the national capital, 37% of locations reported by women on the application does not offer any visibility at night.

 

Safetipin co-founder and women's rights activist Kalpana Viswanath told TOI that there are an estimated 80,000 users and their responses are audited and assessed from time to time to understand problems on the ground. The parameters involved include visibility, lighting, openness, the presence of security, walk path, availability of transport, the presence of people and women and how one feels in a space.

Studies by voluntary organisation Jagori and UN Women on a sample of 5,010 respondents in 2010 reflected that 95% reported to have faced some form of sexual harassment in public spaces. The most common spaces were the street (69%), public transport (51%), waiting for public transport (41%) and markets (49%).

Article Source....Times of India