March 8th is the International Women’s day and the FIA Foundation takes the opportunity to reflect on equality and safety, specially in public space and transport. The issue with harassment is the cultural context and this is reflected in the lack of data and reports on incidents because some countries are not considering it a crime. As a great number of studies have shown that women are the ones that use public transport the most and also the most vulnerable the situation regarding safety is alarming.
It is said that because of safety, women take decisions associated with their transport options that impacts their access to opportunities and quality of life. This is then related to the desire for personal automobiles and the judgement of public transport being unsafe for women passed through generations.
Putting them in separate carriages may be a temporary solution, but it also underpins the concept that women should be kept apart and not be given equal rights. – Heather Allen, independent consultant on sustainable transport, climate change and gender
The right approach is rather to address equity, economic empowerment and improving quality of life while ensuring that there is a common agreement that harassment is unacceptable.
This article is based on work supported by the FIA Foundation. The full report and executive summary can be downloaded here.
This article originally appeared on: http://oecdinsights.org/2016/03/08/safe-and-secure-from-london-to-lahore-and-everywhere-in-between/
Photo: Simphiwe Nkwali, courtesy City of Johannesburg