There’s A Need To Ensure Safer Cities For Our Girls — Kyunki #MeriBetiMeriShakti!

Posted: January 30, 2018

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The growing violence against women in the country, has got us thinking – how can we ensure safer cities for our girls? #WomenOnTheMove share their thoughts.

Concerns regarding women’s safety are nothing new. However, women’s safety in public spaces has gained much significance in recent years. There is a greater demand around making public spaces safer for women. This includes better infrastructure to effective policing, stricter punishment for perpetrators etc.

However, planning for safer public spaces for women goes beyond the physical aspect. It depends greatly on how men and women use public space. In India, men have a sense of entitlement to public spaces and more often than not, women are seen as an aberration to that entitlement. This sense of entitlement stretches from a road side tea shop to the public transport, and even in board rooms.

In our weekly #WomenOnTheMove chat over at Twitter last week, we discussed how to break these gender stereotypes, and how to make public spaces accessible to girls and women and Plan India’s initiatives to make ‘safer cities’ with Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India who was a special guest in the weekly chat. On National Girl Child Day, #WomenOnTheMove also talked more about Plan India’s #MeriBetiMeriShakti initiative too. This is what we discussed.

(If you’re not yet following Women’s Web on Twitter, do now, and you can come over for the chat too, every Wednesday 6-7 pm IST).

How to break gender stereotypes?

Given that we live in a society that has a patriarchal framework, Indian society is replete with gender stereotypes. What can we do to break these stereotypes?

Believe more in doing than talking

The only way to do away with these stereotypes is to raise our children by demonstrating more gender equal behaviors more consciously.

Using social media responsibly

Social Media is a powerful weapon. It is a weapon of mass influence and we should use it more responsibly.

Role of family and teachers is vital

Family & teachers shape the thought processes, especially in the formative years. Hence, leading by example becomes crucial in these years.

Role of community is crucial

The role that communities play in changing perceptions about girls and their value in families cannot be undermined. When communities come together, we can usher in change faster.

Making public places safer — But how?

Indian men have a sense of entitlement to public places. They seem to understand that they own the place. Is there a way to break this? Here’s what #WomenOnTheMove think.

Women should know that public spaces have shared ownership

Believing in ‘this space is mine too’

Role of men in creating safe cities

‘Safer Cities’ — A Plan India initiative

‘Safer cities’ is a Plan India initiative in Delhi where girls are negotiating and reclaiming public spaces like parks, transport, etc.

Breaking gender stereotypes is the first step in ensuring ‘safer cities’ for our girls. But in general, where on one hand the birth of a son is revered that of a daughter is seen as a burden. #WomenOnTheMove asked a very pertinent question.

The #MeriBetiMeriShakti campaign

Plan India’s #MeriBetiMeriShakti campaign is working towards changing this attitude.

What is the #MeriBetiMeriShakti campaign all about and is it working?

The winds of change are blowing and attitudes are changing. But change is always slow and we need to keep going.

The sheer fact that we have organisations like Plan India working incessantly towards improving the conditions of women and girls in the country through social initiatives such as #MeriBetiMeriShakti, it won’t be long before we see some significant change in the social attitude.

Image source: pixabay

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