Assocham conducted a random survey of women in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Pune, Dehradun etc. 100% women respondents very strongly felt that problem of insecurity faced by women is bigger than any other problem or challenge faced by India.
Releasing the assessment, Assocham's Secretary General D S Rawat said that in sector specific cases, women employees in BPO's and ITeS, travel and tourism and nursing homes are the most vulnerable and prone to both physical and non-physical attacks, especially after their duty hours get over. In nursing homes, including hospitals, 83% women employees continue to suffer from a sense of insecurity, the study said.
Delhi topped the list with 92% women respondents complaining that they feel unsafe. 85% of women in Bangalore, 82% in Kolkata, 18 % in Hyderabad have reported feeling unsafe while working during day and night shifts. They expect their employers to make the security arrangements. BPO/ITeS is not the only sector with post-sunset shifts. Women nurses have been doing night rounds for ages. Airlines, hotels and service industries have large contingents of 24/7 workers of both genders. The media also have late night shifts, highlighted D.S. Rawat.
The statistics give a more shocking picture of the situation in Delhi city. Once every 40 minutes, a woman is kidnapped and raped. Awoman faces sexual harassment on the city’s streets once every hour and molestation happens every 25 minutes, reveals the Assocham paper.
The survey further highlights that two in every three women in the national capital have faced some form of sexual harassment in last years. Delhi women face continuous and different forms of sexual harassment in crowded and secluded places.
Women in Delhi-NCR feel unsafe in many public spaces and at all times of the day and night. Public transport, buses and roadsides are reported as spaces where women and girls face high levels of sexual harassment, mentioned the survey.
Majority of women who were surveyed said that buses were the most unsafe form of transport. Many said the Metro system, which used to be safer earlier, is now equally crowded and unsafe. The survey reveals the most common forms of harassment are "verbal (passing lewd comments), visual (staring and leering) and physical (touching or groping or leaning over)", adds the survey.
Poor infrastructure; including absent street lights, unusable pavements and a lack of public toilets is one of the main reasons behind the lack of women's safety.
Around 92% of women respondents very strongly feel that any crime against women should be a non-bailable offense with severe punishment in fast track courts. In long term solution, majority suggested curbing liquor consumption, restraint on obscenity in media (including movies/ songs/ ads) and continuous positive ad campaign for women safety.
Only 62% of the respondents perceived better pay package to be a major attraction for working nightshifts. The rest responded that there is no other choice; job demands this.
Demand by nature of job was the major reason for working in night shifts among all the cities surveyed e.g. it is 98% in Bangalore and Pune, 99% in Ludhiana, 97% in Mumbai, 94% in Delhi, 85% in Bangalore, 88% in Hyderabad and 84% in Chennai. Social problems are more in Ludhiana (23%), Kolkata (19%), Delhi (15%), and Pune (14%). It is less in Mumbai (12%) and Hyderabad (8%).
ASSOCHAM has already suggested that governments should make it mandatory to Install Global Positioning System (GPS) in cabs and in public transport. Due to non equipment of GPS in cabs, increasing crime rates surface and re- surface in BPO/ITeS, hospitality, Civil Aviation, Nursing homes, garments that engage women's, particularly in night shifts. Such security risks could be minimized by making it install GPS in all vehicles.
Safety norms suggested by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation include:
· A highly effective and responsive GPS System in place
· Self defense training to the women staff
· Organization with odd hour working need to take extra precaution,
· To provide safety and security to their employees, especially females, tiny security devices to workforce to preempt threats on them
· Verification of Cab Driver be made by the police