The Chandigarh Stalking incident has once again got the same old question of women’s safety to the forefront. Why are Indian women unsafe in the cities they choose to call their home? Why and to what extent do we need to arm ourselves while travelling at night? Why and how do some people succeed in instilling fear in the minds of women?

SheThePeople.TV spoke to a bevy of young women to know their views on how the fear of safety affects their everyday choices.

Patriarchy stops women from having a career of their choice.

Alka Rao, an alumna of Delhi University, currently pursuing higher studies in Netherlands compares the level of safety in Netherlands with the one she saw in India. She says,

“It is quite safe. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about texting my friends when I reach home. I don’t have to worry about what I am wearing. I can come to work at 1 am at night and be fearless.”

“A lot of people give up because of a number of reasons, not enough finances, not enough privilege, enough supporting system of friends and parents. So I have come a long way and the journey wasn’t pleasant. A lot of girls I think, find it difficult and just give in at some point. Because there’s no one to support them. ”

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She adds that it is high time we accept that our society is patriarchal and lots of families are not safe spaces.

“The current situation has created a perennial sense of fear and skepticism. Therefore, most of them want their daughters to be happy with a 9 to 5 job” – Nikita Kumar

Parents alarmed by women-related crimes.

Nikita Kumar, pursuing her Masters in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, points out that the raging hostility towards women has alarmed parents today. The current situation has created a perennial sense of fear and skepticism. Therefore, most of them want their daughters to be happy with a 9 to 5 job.

“It is actually very scary to step out at night”, she confesses.

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Time after dusk is unsafe

Ishita Chikkara, another alumna of Delhi University, says that parents like to see their daughters home before sunset and compel them to take up day jobs. She also mentions that she has to take a slew of measures in case she dares to step out alone at night.

“I prefer to come home by 7 or latest by 8 when the roads are still crowded. I have to be extra cautious about the means of transport I use. I have to keep my parents updated about my whereabouts all the time.”, she says.

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“The issue of women’s safety reduces our options to explore and miss many more opportunities.” – Vrinda

Safety issues are preventing us from exploring.

Vrinda, an English Honors student living in Delhi asserts that “Women are not safe in either city or a town. Being a woman, I think twice before signing up for the last night shift job or internship. My parents remain constantly worried about my safety. They don’t let me travel alone which reduces our options to explore and miss many more opportunities.”

She mentions that she has taken selfdefence classes in the past for her safety. “I also try to carry a weapon whenever I go out,” she adds.

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Abhidha Sharma, a photographer living in Mumbai, says how travelling in a cab is also not very safe.

“I call up my parents whenever I travel in a cab. I make sure that I share my details with my parents so that they can keep on tracking me. I have to pay a lot of attention to the route he takes following the GPS.”

Fear for safety shakes your confidence

Urshita Saini, a birth photographer based in Delhi, says

“Being a birth photographer means I have to leave for an assignment at the oddest hour possible. And my parents did have their fair share of concerns and worries about it. I was questioned about how I had planned to make sure I was safe at all times”, she says.
She adds,”Though I consider myself blessed that I come from a family that not only allowed me, but also can afford certain luxuries that would help me in my work, many families are not in that position. And therefore you see so less of female photographers, pilots or DJ’s. Most parents would want their daughter to look for a 9 to 5 job and honestly these days we can’t blame them.

“The situation is day by day becoming gross and severe for women who are travelling out at night.”- Latika Wadhwa

 Situation turning uglier day by day

 Latika Wadhwa, Founder of Mompreneur circle, says
“Though we are talking about emancipation, carrying out campaigns and spreading awareness about the women walking freely at night, the sad part is that looking at the statistics the situation is day by day becoming gross and severe for women who are travelling out at night.”

The country’s failure in safeguarding its women has become a major cause of worry. It is disheartening to know that half the country’s population is forced to live a suppressed life because of few people who fail to perceive women as humans entitled to live a dignified life.

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