India’s GDP stands to gain 27% by raising women’s participation in the labour force, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report. Though there has been drastic rise in women entering the Indian workforce, their foray is marred with socio-economic hurdles. Multiple studies, across various Indian cities, shed light on the constant harassment that Indian women deal during their daily commute—work or otherwise.
Mobility is one concern which continues to hamper women’s pursuit in shattering the proverbial glass ceiling. To tackle this and other adjunct challenges, the ITDP India Programme effectively engages and works with relevant stakeholders to keep the discourse in the public conscience.
The India Programme’s policy brief on ‘Women and Transport in Indian Cities’, in collaboration with Safetipin and UN Women, highlighted issues such as safety, comfort, convenience and affordability that limit women’s mobility. Offering appropriate steps for policy reformation, the efforts struck a chord in various international quarters and opened the dias for us to present the Indian women’s grievances in urban transport.
To support these actions, the India Programme also conducted safety audits and prepared corrective design guidelines from a gender perspective. The audits, done in partnership with Safetipin and Janki Devi Memorial College (JDMC), were conducted within a 10-minute (800m) walking radius of 16 bus terminals in Delhi.
The organisation’s primary focus is to ensure sustainable, accessible, and secure urban transportation becomes an intrinsic part of the culture of cities and societies in India. And we realise that mobility of women is a key cog that will help push forward the wheels of change.