Creating a Society that Ensures Safety for Women

Safety tips for womenSafety tips for women:

At WEBO Power, a network that celebrates women and the entrepreneurial spirit, we firmly believe that every woman has the right to feel safe and travel freely, whether it is to pursue her work commitments or for pleasure. We believe that women themselves and society at large must work proactively towards creating a safe environment for all.

While safety for women is a concern the world over, the recent violent rape of a young woman in New Delhi, really makes me question our belief in humanity and wonder how we can prevent such depraved actions.

Being vigilant about my personal safety and being cautious in New Delhi, the capital city of India (notorious for its crime against women), is almost second nature to me, and the horrific rape incident on the night of 16th December has brought this issue even closer home. The victim and her male friend returned from a film show at a Mall that I frequent regularly, and boarded the ill-fated bus at Munirka, which is barely two kilometers from my home. I too had gone to watch a film that night and when I woke up the next morning to this disturbing news, I was shaken to my core. The victim, a paramedical student, was training for a career where she would serve humanity, and sadly, she herself was brutally dehumanised.

Government apathy is apparent and clearly, our law enforcers are not competent enough. So what is the way out? Armchair discussions and being vicarious participants of heated debates on television does not seem enough. I really feel that this episode must rouse us to become even more vigilant and must lead to widespread public activism. Rather than discussing the fate of the perpetrators, the focus needs to be on the steps we can all take to make our cities safer.

While the onus of ensuring safety for women lies with society as a whole, women may take the following precautions/ safety measures:

• Avoid public transport at night

• Keep your car keys in your hand when you enter a parking lot. If attacked, throw your keys as far as possible and shout for help

Creating a Safe Society for Women• Always carry a pepper spray or a deodorant in your bag

• Always keep your family informed of your whereabouts

• Save emergency numbers on speed dial or activate SOS SMS on your mobile phone (Police Control Room Number 100; Women Helpline Number 1091; Other Emergency Numbers)

• Learn self-defence. The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

• Don’t approach a vehicle asking for directions, talk from a distance.

• If travelling by auto or cab call a friend or relative and loudly relay the vehicle number to the person on the phone so that the driver is aware that he may be tracked.

• If travelling alone on a lonely road, call a friend or relative and inform him/her of your whereabouts

• Avoid alcohol when going out with people you don’t know very well.

At a deeper level, we need to bring about a shift in our thinking, how women are perceived and it’s time men start respecting women and fight for women’s rights.

At present, public outrage is at its pinnacle but instead of merely pointing fingers, this is also the time to think of a concrete plan of action to make our cities safer. This strategy must include matters like harsher punishment for perpetrators; increased citizen & police patrolling; harnessing technology for better tracking systems and fast-track courts to ensure greater deterrence for crime against women.

Being an urban Indian woman, must cease to mean that we are in constant terror of being attacked or violated.

Write to us, and share with us your thoughts on how we can make our world a safer place for women.

Posted By: Supriya Mathur, Team WEBO
Illustration By: Molly Radin, Team WEBO
Posted On: December 19, 2012

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One Comment on “Creating a Society that Ensures Safety for Women”

  1. dina #

    totally support you .btw your article proves great for a help in my ppt..hahaha

    October 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm Reply

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