Amid growing concerns of women safety in the country, the Kerala government is all set to conduct a night walk for women on December 29 to promote women empowerment and to sensitise people about increasing cases of violence against women.
The initiative by the Kerala Women and Child Development Department will be held from 11 am to 1 am at 100 locations across the state.
K K Shailaja, the State Minister for Health, Social Justice and Woman and Child Development, said that the event is aimed at conveying the message that public space is for women too.
“There are two main objectives behind the night walk. Women go out in the middle of the night and are in a state of mental anguish and fear. Our first aim is to remove them. Some people, that form a minor part in society, come out to harass women if they see them at night,” Shailaja was quoted by ANI.
“The second is to alert the police as soon as possible and take action against such people,” the minister added.
Coordination committees comprising of Janamaithri Police, Residents Association, Kudumbashree (a poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by Kerala government) and representatives of various organisations have been constituted in all districts for the event. The committee will have the district women and child development officer as chairman and the concerned municipal chairperson as president.
25 volunteers have also been prepared at each centre. Each volunteer will be deployed at a distance of 200 metres to ensure women’s safety. Before selecting the venues, the Janamaithri Police will also do crime scene mapping. Besides, street lighting will also be enabled in the locations.
Shailaja added that the programme is intended to strengthen the existing policing system and to reclaim public spaces that are alien to women.
After the first event, similar night walks will be held by volunteers in over 100 locations in the state, without notice.