India is a land of rich culture, history, and diversity. However, it’s also a place where women’s safety has been a major concern for decades. Despite various efforts by the government and NGOs, women continue to face harassment and violence on a daily basis.
In recent years, the issue of women’s safety in India has gained more attention than ever before. In this blog, we’ll explore the current state of women’s safety in India, the challenges women face, and what can be done to make India a safer place for women.
By shedding light on this issue, we hope to create greater awareness and inspire action towards a safer and more empowering India for women.
Women’s safety in India has been a huge concern and is on the incline as we read. Even though there are tremendous efforts put in by the government to set up organizations and civil society programs to educate and raise awareness about this widespread problem. Women in India face a lot of these safety-related issues including assaults, sexual assaults, harassment, abuse and many more. This should be addressed in public and a lesson should be taught to the locals regarding the severity of such crimes and should be dealt with appropriately. This is also highly important for the development of society and the country overall.
Understanding the Current Scenario
Research says that there have been more than 4 lakh cases of crimes against women just in 2019. This includes cases of rape, assault, harassment, and abduction. Researchers also say that this has been increasing steadily and will get worse over time. This data indicates that women’s safety remains a major concern in India.
The prevalent forms of violence against women in India include sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, and honour killings. Sexual harassment is rampant in public spaces, with women often facing unwanted attention and lewd comments. India is a country known for its high rape fatalities which is a serious problem faced by women in that country. Domestic violence is another crime that women are facing currently and it is at the hands of their own partners. Honour killings take place where women are killed for marrying outside their caste or religion and this still prevails as a huge situation in the country.
Factors Contributing to the Problem
Several cultural and societal factors contribute to women’s safety issues in India. Gender discrimination is a global issue, but in India, women face a lot of peril which leads to a lack of respect and dignity. Women are usually seen as objects to be used which leads to mystery and violence.
Legal and law enforcement gaps also contribute to the problem. Fewer actions are taken against these crimes and criminals, and that is the main reason for this to escalate. Once a strict law is placed, and the perpetrators are being taken care of, the people would feel the severity of the punishment and refrain from such acts. Equality should be seen in this case, women should feel safe and secure when they leave their house and not feel scared and ashamed. Rules and implementations should be tightened against this and strict actions should be taken.
Initiatives and Policies Aimed at Improving Women’s Safety
The Indian government has implemented several initiatives and policies aimed at improving women’s safety. These include the Funding programs, a government-run fund established to support initiatives aimed at ensuring women’s safety and educating the women campaigns, aimed at addressing gender discrimination and promoting education for girls.
Several state governments have also launched initiatives aimed at improving women’s safety. For example, the Telangana government launched the SHE Teams initiative, which comprises all-women teams that patrol public spaces to prevent crimes against women. The Delhi government launched the One Stop Centre initiative, which provides legal and counselling services to women who have experienced violence.
Despite these initiatives, there is still much work to be done. Many of these initiatives suffer from inadequate funding and poor implementation, and there is a need for more comprehensive and sustained efforts to address women’s safety in India.
Steps Individuals Can Take for Their Own Safety
While systemic changes are needed to address women’s safety issues in India, there are also steps that individuals can take to safeguard their own well-being. Here are some practical safety tips for women when walking alone or travelling in India:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Always be mindful of your surroundings and the people around you. Be alert and pay attention to anything that seems out of place.
- Avoid travelling alone at night: It’s always best to travel with a group, especially at night. If you must travel alone, try to stick to well-lit and crowded areas.
- Trust your instincts: If something feels off or makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut and remove yourself from the situation.
- Use public transportation wisely: Avoid using empty or unlicensed cabs. Instead, opt for public transportation or ride-sharing services with trusted companies.
- Keep important contacts handy: Keep important contacts like the police, emergency services, and trusted friends or family members on speed dial. It’s also a good idea to share your location with someone you trust.
- Learn basic self-defence techniques: Consider taking self-defence classes to learn basic techniques for protecting yourself in a dangerous situation.
- Dress appropriately: Dress modestly and avoid clothing that might attract unwanted attention. This includes avoiding tight or revealing clothing.
- Stay connected: Stay connected with friends, family, or emergency services when walking alone, including using safety apps or features on your phone.
- Avoid risky behaviours: Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, accepting rides from strangers, or taking shortcuts through unfamiliar areas.
- Use your voice: Emphasize the power of using your voice when walking alone, including speaking up if someone is making you uncomfortable or alerting others if you feel threatened.
By taking these proactive measures, women can help to minimize their risk of becoming victims of violence or harassment when travelling in India.
The Way Forward
When certain individuals take a step forward, it may raise awareness in a small case, but when huge organizations and leading bodies are subjected to this, it can cause a greater change and make the place a better place for women. Continuous push from the government alongside other social activities and law enforcement agencies and help reduce the violent crimes against women and make it a safer place.
One crucial step towards improving women’s safety is to address the cultural and societal factors that contribute to the problem. This includes promoting gender equality, challenging harmful gender norms and stereotypes, and educating the public on women’s rights and empowerment.
Moreover, there are many more implications and rules that need to be set up and a greater emphasis must be placed on protecting women’s rights and holding back illegal acts and the ones who perform those. This included better law enforcement and training officers on how to handle different cases of violence and make those services more accessible and supportive systems and hotlines so they can address these situations quickly.
Lastly, it is also important to recognize the hard work, dedication and support of the organizations run by society as a social service that is working continuously and consistently to promote women’s empowerment and security in India. Organizations, social activities and also to support the survivors of this violence and raise awareness by setting up programs and bringing in several policy changes.
In conclusion, women’s safety remains a pressing issue in India, but efforts are being made to address it. It is crucial for individuals to take proactive measures to safeguard their own well-being, such as staying alert, avoiding risky situations, and speaking up if they feel uncomfortable. Along with this, the government, civil society organizations, and citizens must work together to create a safer environment for women in India. Only if awareness is raised towards such crimes and violence and contributes to building a safer country for women to live and prosper. This may seem like a daunting task at the start, but once the initiative is ready, it’s time to implement it.