Home » Women Safety

Women Safety

As cities grow and evolve, they need to ensure the rights and dignity of all including women. Therefore, city infrastructure and city spaces need to be designed from the perspective of diverse users. Gurgaon, a city witnessing exponential population growth, has also experienced violence and crimes against women. Disturbingly, there has been a sharp surge in domestic violence during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. Cyberstalking incidents are on the rise as well.

Women, just like men, have the fundamental right to live, work, and move freely without fear, as enshrined in the right to safety. A comprehensive approach is imperative, spanning institutional, infrastructural, and societal dimensions.

Institutionally, the city boasts a responsive administrative machinery, including the police, courts, district sexual harassment cells, and one-stop center, all dedicated to providing security and support for women. Notable initiatives include women’s police stations, a 24-hour Women Helpline, and the district One-stop center at Civil Hospital Gurgaon, offering emergency response, medical, and legal assistance. Women in Gurgaon are advised to save emergency helpline numbers, such as 100, 1091, and 1098, on their phones.

Legally, frameworks like the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 play pivotal roles in addressing harassment and abuse cases within organizations and protecting children against sexual offenses, respectively.

However, ensuring women’s safety requires robust urban planning and infrastructure. Adequate lighting, well-designed pedestrian walkways, and vibrant street life all contribute to a safer environment. Old Gurgaon, with its vibrant street life, is perceived as safer than New Gurgaon, which has some deserted roads with practically no vendors. Reliable public transport, currently inadequate and underutilized in Gurgaon, is also crucial. Moreover, city spaces, especially in the evenings, are typically male-dominated, making them less comfortable for women. Carrying pepper sprays and organizing self-defence workshops may be individualised solutions, but they do not address the notion of safety as a fundamental right.

Besides, safety must encompass all, including domestic workers, industrial employees, and women using public transport. Community involvement through RWAs, NGOs, support groups, and schools is essential. These entities can encourage reporting, engage in value-based education, and conduct awareness campaigns to challenge deeply rooted societal prejudices.

Haryana and Gurgaon district have taken some initiatives from time to time for women safety. The state government’s “safe city” project aims at safe public transport, widespread CCTV camera installations, and prompt police actions to enhance women’s security. The Durga Shakti App, developed by the police administration, empowers individuals to seek help swiftly during distress, enhancing personal safety.

In conclusion, an inclusive approach, combining institutional support with infrastructural enhancements as well as societal transformation, is the path to creating a city where every resident, regardless of gender, feels secure and free.