We4her discusses women’s safety in public places

New Delhi:

The seminar was followed by a panel discussion on “Is Delhi safer for women after 10 years of Nirbhaya business?” The discussion brought together renowned women leaders, thinkers, lawyers and experts, including Ms. Pratibha Jain, Group General Counsel and Head of Corporate Affairs, Everstone Capital and Founder and Director of the We4Her Foundation.

Jain said: “When I created the foundation with my co-administrator, I initially thought that we could support other organizations that are working on the ground, but the more I talked to the existing organizations, I felt realized that the task was so immense that more voices were needed. There is also a lack of awareness in some circles about the daily struggle women face in a patriarchal society. ”

Emphasizing the need for women to reclaim public spaces, Ms. Jain said crime is the most consistent pattern affecting personal safety. Women constitute more than half of the victims of violent crime in the world. In India, a woman is harassed every 51 minutes in a public space. “Sexual and physical violence against women in India came to the attention of police and government following the horrific gang rape in Delhi in December 2012.

It is important that we maintain the momentum of the civil discourse around creating safe public spaces for women in India. Not only is it of physical and psychological importance for half of the country’s population, but it has a direct and substantial impact on the economy of the country and the city concerned. Public safety is trust in the people who live in a society and those who visit a place. It has a number of other advantages which transcend other factors. Needless to say, safe neighborhoods and cities attract tourists in addition to attracting industries to a particular region.

Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has regularly reiterated the importance of women’s safety in public spaces. It is now up to his government and the administration to implement it, ”said Ms. Pratibha Jain.

India ranks 133rd out of 167 countries in the Women’s Peace and Security Index 2019. “Empowerment is essential to ensure that women are free from abuse. the right to access opportunities and resources, the right to have the power to control their lives both inside and outside the home and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a fairer social and economic order at national and international levels.

UN SDGs 5 and 11 focus on empowering women to live freely without discrimination, including discrimination in the workplace, and making cities inclusive and safer ”, said Ms. Jain concluded. Adopting a three-pronged strategy, the We4HER Foundation will undertake programs, conferences, seminars and carry out research directly on gender justice and gender equality; provide grants to organizations working in the field of justice and gender equality in non-urban areas; and create an ecosystem for organizations working in the field of justice and gender equality.

The seminar and roundtable included Justice Gita Mittal, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Chair of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCI). “From public spaces to public toilets, the design of urban spaces can deprive women of their right to equal access, which can be further hampered by caste, class, disability and sexuality. Women are not considered legitimate users of public space if they do not do so. have a specific goal at certain times of the day. A gender-responsive urban design that prioritizes positive freedom can play a critical role in ensuring women’s safety in public spaces and providing more inclusive solutions.

As a first step, the foundation is launching an initiative at Defense Colony in Delhi asking families to go out at night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. to raise awareness about the safety of women in the colony by reclaiming public spaces at night, Jain added. Ms Pratibha Jain, a former student of the University of Oxford, was joined by Hemani Malhotra, Addl. Sessions Judge Tis Hazari Court, who said there has been a paradigm shift in laws relating to sexual assault against women and a number of reforms have taken place. This made all stakeholders more victim friendly; however, victims still feel intimidated when they appear in court. From the FIR registration, the idea of ​​telling the whole experience to the police officers is a very difficult job for any woman.

Ms. Shalini Singh IPS, Delhi Police Special Police Commissioner added: “The Nirbhaya case was a turning point as it made the police and society reflect on what can be done to prevent such cases from happening. do not reproduce. We (the police) realized that we had to make institutional changes, and we decided to increase the proportion of women in the police force. Currently the Delhi Police Force is 13% female and we plan to increase this percentage to 33%.

We have also set up 24/7 Women’s Support Services, which connect you to the hotline for the state you are in. We have also conducted gender awareness campaigns for our staff to become more attentive and sensitive to women’s issues. Emphasis was also placed on proper investigation based on scientific evidence and we tried to change the mindset of our own people. “

Mara R. Wilmoth