It’s High Time Women Reclaim Their City Spaces

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May 13th, 2018 / 10:00 AM

Women in India, almost involuntarily hasten their steps towards their homes as soon as it starts getting dark. Even a slight deviation from the usual time of returning home triggers panic among their kin.

As per a study, 91% of (women) college-going millennial have said to have experienced some kind of harassment leaving them feeling unsafe and vulnerable. Most of the times women are forced to take longer, more expensive rides to avoid getting into such situation.

Yes, these large numbers surely make us uncomfortable. However, this hardly comes as a surprise as we are bombarded daily with a barrage of news showing women being assaulted. To add to the woes, many people including those in the position of power and influence make unsavoury comments and indulge in victim-shaming.

On January 1, 2017, in Bangalore, when people gathered to enjoy and celebrate the new year’s day, groups of women were molested even in the presence of police. An IT professional from Chennai was stalked for a long time after which she was attacked in broad daylight.

These are not isolated incident, there have been various instances were women have been stalked and subjected to constant harassment, so much so that the victim starts feeling that maybe she herself is at fault and with the society telling women how to dress, where to go and with whom to go only adds to this feeling.

All this is grossly unjust. Since a long time, people have been coming out and protesting against such assaults and the victim shaming which follows. Women have led candle light marches and protests to reclaim the roads, to make people realise that it is very unfair that women are made to budge due to few ill-minded miscreants.

Every single person deserves to live without fear. The unnecessary pressure to reach home “before it gets dark” needs to go. We often hear the roads are not safe, the city is dangerous after it gets dark, but is it really these inanimate spaces which are scary or is the fault with the “people” who make it unsafe. It is important to establish the fact that the roads, parks or any public space belong to all.

Realising the importance of building and encouraging an environment which is safe for all, Volvo has initiated #MakeYourCitySafe campaign. Volvo has also come up with a video which shows three women at three different times of the day. The video goes on to show how initially these three are apprehensive but after seeing other women around them they go on to stay a little longer on the roads to enjoy a little walk, go for one more round of jog and enjoy a hot cup of tea.

The message of the video is simple, more the number of women on the streets, safer it will get. Volvo is embarking on an iconic night walk in the streets of Mumbai, urging women to join them and reclaim their roads. The Logical Indian urges all women to come out in support to #MakeYourCitySafe.

Join us for a walk in the night in Mumbai on 19th May 2018.

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