About 92 per cent of women working in sectors such as information technology, hospitality, civil aviation and call centres feel unsafe while travelling to their homes after sunset, a new nationwide survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India’s Social Development Foundation has revealed.
Over 5,000 women in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Dehra Dun from October to December were surveyed, said ASSOCHAM.
Releasing the assessment, ASSOCHAM secretary-general D. S. Rawat said the survey revealed that the women working in sectors such as travel and tourism, nursing, information technology were most vulnerable to sexual harassment and attacks after the working hours as they were required to return home late in the evening. Delhi topped the list with 92 per cent women respondents claiming that they did not feel safe at night followed by Bangalore (85 per cent), Kolkata (82 per cent) and Hyderabad (18 per cent).
The survey presented a gloomy picture of the national Capital as it revealed that the two of every three women in Delhi had faced some form of sexual harassment. Most of the women surveyed said they did not consider buses to be a safe mode of transport and the Delhi Metro had also turned unsafe with increasing crowds.
A majority of the women blamed poor infrastructure like inadequate number of street-lights and unsafe public transport for crime against women. More than 90 per cent of the women felt that crime against women should be non-bailable with severe punishment and trial should be conducted in fast-track courts.
The ASSOCHAM has suggested that an effective and responsive Global Positioning System be installed in cabs and public transport vehicles, working women should be trained in self-defence and the employers need to take extra precautions in case of women staff working till late in the evening.