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How Unsafe Is Delhi For Women?

The Centre for Equity and Inclusion (CEQUIN) a Non Government Organisation, (NGO) with the support of Delhi Government has taken the initiative of making Delhi safe for women.In view of the Commonwealth games which are due in 2010, while elaborate arrangements are being made to improve the infrastructure of the city,  CEQUIN  is making efforts to make people aware of a huge menace which is generally passed of as ‘eve-teasing’.

A survey regarding gender biased violations was conducted by the NGO and alarming facts were brought to light. Around 630 women between the age of 12 to 55 were approached and around 97 % of women admitted that they had been sexually harassed at one time or the other. 44% of women preferred to keep it to themselves for fear of social ostracism; around 86% complained that at such times they found themselves helpless as onlookers did not care to respond.

All of them admitted that there was hardly any place in the city which was safe. Starting from metro stations, to bus stands, to market places or even residential colonies, to slums or educational institutions, the fairer sex had to incessantly face such harassments.

Sara Pilot and Lora Prabhu who are the founders of CEQUIN feel that awareness among men and boys is more essential on this issue, as the underlying cause for harassment is the concept of masculinity which makes them resort to such indecencies. In Sara Pilot’s words, “One of the reasons for sexual harassment in the study was the perception of masculinity. We need to educate the public, especially men, that gender sensitivity is as much a part of being masculine as physical strength.”

In their effort to make Delhi safe for women, Lora Prabhu Pointed out that, “We are planning a series of campaigns to reach all stakeholders, including the government, police and civil society.” They have made appointed The Daredevils Captain Virendra Sehwag as a goodwill ambassador for the organization.

Sara Pilot informed that, “The IPL team Delhi Daredevils will be the face of the ‘Make Delhi Safe for Women’campaign. To affect a mindset change we will undertake public service messaging on radio and television, posters and hoardings featuring Sehwag and his team-mates.”

As for Sehwag  who was offended during his childhood days on seeing people harassing girls, feels that it is the duty of every good Samaritan to see that all womenfolk are cared for and safe.

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