Safer City for the Women

August 08, 2011 at 09:30 pm

This year, a few months back, we celebrated the 100th international women's day across the world. International women's day was designated to inspire women throughout the world to work towards equality. The day is commemorated at the United Nations and celebrated in nations across the globe. But our aim should be (in literal terms) to provide access to "365 Happy Women's Day" a year.

A woman is the source of our life and the reason of our very existence. But when we pick up newspapers in the morning or watch news on television, we come across the news of many heinous crimes related to rape, molestation or harassment of women in our very own capital city of India. It is a matter of great shame for the society. It is not only the duty of the police to take charge against such crimes but also the citizens of the city. There is a need for a lot of efforts to be put in to make our city a safer place for women.

Firstly, the prudish attitude of the general public needs to change so that women become safer in the society. It is important for the common man to change their mentality. Delhi would be a much safer place if people could protest and intervene when women are seen to be teased or molested. People's participation is of prime importance. So, they need to be a little more proactive now. We must resist and react to each and every crime against women - not only the major ones - so that no perpetrator is spared and even an intention of such acts is discouraged.

The women in the society must break their silence if they suffer. Women suffer tightlipped because they feel scared as there is a lack of support from others. A few months ago, "HT City" launched a drive to blow the whistle by distributing whistles to girls across the city to blow it against the offender who harasses them. We also need to involve men in the endeavor to raise voice against violation of women rights or any crimes or suffering by women. Moreover, it is very important to educate male members of the society about the expected civilized behavior and the laws under which they can be charged and punished if they indulge in any crime against women. We need to form certain categories according to different strata of the society to function in coordinated manner and help spread the message, make aware and drive a change on the lines of the constructed vision. It would be a good idea to involve students/common people from the same area or communities where we intend to spread the message and be heard. These people can act as stimuli to change the mentality of other men and would sensitize other men too.

These are some of the actions which need to be taken by the society as a part of the community action. But to begin with it, parents at home must provide guidance and awareness to their children. Parents should be more open to discussions on sexuality and ethics with children so that they grow up to be more responsible adults. Whether it is a boy or a girl, parents must take care and be aware of the environment and society in which their children grow. Parents must take upon themselves, as far as possible, to show the right path to their children and make them strong enough to stand for the "right" and decline the "wrong". There is also a need to understand and change the mindset that only unknown men on the road are the ones that endanger the safety of a woman. In fact, as the stats suggest, perpetrators are usually known to the victim. Also, the class has nothing to do with crime against women.

There is an immediate need to make certain changes in the laws which punish the accused. The laws are archaic and when amendments take place, we need to have more women organisations involved so that laws are favourable. Also, stricter implementation of laws is needed. Fast-track courts must function to give immediate punishment to the accused and redress the grievances of the victims.

There is a demanding need to put in united efforts to improve security of women in the city and the whole of India. IT must be a joint effort because every household has a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter……….and they all deserve safety and respect.

Shilpi Sharma


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