India

India’s richest women feel unsafe in public transport and cinemas

The study covers 30 cities and 84 villages

Mumbai: India’s richest girls and young women, aged 11 to 18, felt the least safe among all income groups in public spaces, according to a new report that explored safety perceptions among adolescent girls. According to the new study titled ‘Wings 2018: World Of India’s Girls’, across urban (47 %) and rural (40%) areas, young girls felt more susceptible to molestation or abuse while using public transport.

The study

  • Conducted in six states: Assam, Delhi-NCR, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal.
  • Surveyed across 30 cities and 84 villages in 12 districts.
  • The sample included 3,128 adolescent girls, 1,141 young men (aged 15-18), 248 young women (aged 19-22) forced to marry early, and 842 parents of adolescent girls.
  • The selected states performed worst on: child sex ratio; incidence of crime against women; early marriage; spousal violence against women; and working women.

Abuse while using public transport

  • 47% young girls across urban areas reported feeling more susceptible to molestation or abuse while using public transport
  • 40% Young girls across rural areas reported feeling more susceptible to molestation or abuse while using public transport
  • This finding was particularly true for girls from higher income groups –53%

Why greater fear among girls of higher income groups: These girls lead a cocooned life without required level of resilience & so feel more threatened.

Small town girls feel more insecure

  • 51% Girls from medium and small towns reported feeling unsafe than those in large cities.
  • 44% Girls from large cities said that they feel unsafe.
  • 42% Girls from small villages said that they feel unsafe.
  • 39% Girls from large villages said that they feel unsafe.

Other Most unsafe places

  • Public transportation.
  • Narrow roads leading to the school.
  • Local markets or private tuition.
  • Cinema hall.
  • 28% Young women from large cities said they felt unsafe in cinema halls.
  • Reason: These girls fear that their complaints may go unheard in a place occupied by the relatively better-placed class wise and caste-wise.

Less than half of girls play in parks

  • 20% Girls from urban areas felt they could safely play in a public park or go for a morning walk
  • 41% Young girls from urban India perceived a higher risk of molestation in crowded public places.
  • 42% Here too, young women from higher and middle-economic classes reported a higher perception of risk.

Trust deficit over policing & judiciary

Mother: Most reliable person to report molestation besides father, close friends and peers.

Teachers and police: Reported as the least reliable persons to report molestation besides siblings.

Reasons 

  1. ‘Most of them were against going to the police because the police were considered insensitive. The process involves a lot of time and resources and damages the reputation of the girl.
  2. The second-most reported reason for not confiding in their families was fear of retribution.
  • 49% Urban girls avoided confiding in families because they feared restrictions.
  • 36% Rural girls felt the same.
  • 44% Urban adolescent girls and 38% rural girls felt they would be scolded for letting’ themselves be harassed.
  • 50% Or more parents agreed that they would ‘probably end up scolding their daughters’ for ‘letting’ sexual harassment occur.
  • 42% Parents admitted they were likely to regulate their daughters’ movement in public spaces thereafter.

 

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