Updated: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 06:15:00 GMT | By The Hindu Business Line/PTI

Over 82% working women in Mumbai feel insecure

Women said that they were fearful about their safety whenever they had to step out alone in the city


Over 82% working women in Mumbai feel insecure (© Reuters)

Mumbai: Mumbai, a city once known for its nightlife, has been polled as one of the most-unsafe city for women working in night shifts in sectors such as IT, ITeS, media, aviation and hospitals.

The survey, conducted done by industry body Assocham’s Social Development Foundation arm, assumes importance as a 22-year-old photojournalist, working with a leading English magazine, was gang-raped while on an assignment at Lower Parel in Central Mumbai.

According to the survey, about 82 per cent feel insecure working in night shifts, while the figure was the least for Pune at 32 per cent. About 46 per cent of women working with small-scale firms are worried and concerned about moment outside; nearly 31 per cent in the medium sector is quite apprehensive about their safety and security, particularly after night sets in. DS Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham, said, “In sector-specific cases - media, BPOs, ITeS and hospitals - women employees are the most vulnerable and prone to both physical and non-physical attacks especially after duty hours. As a result , female employees remain extremely concerned about security and anxiety is filled with them in high degrees.”

Nursing homes

In nursing homes, including hospitals, 53 percent women employees continue to suffer from insecurity.

In the leather and garment industry, the feeling of insecurity is 45 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively, adds the survey. The fast-growing BPO/ ITeS, media, hospitality and civil aviation industry has generated parallel employment for cab drivers. When it comes to safety at work, about 76 per cent of women on night shifts feel insecure, because of lack of adequate transport arrangements by employers.

Those working in Mumbai and Pune face the maximum commuting problem and those in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore face the least, adds the survey.

The survey, meanwhile, suggested that companies should have an internal code to ensure security of their women employees, and take measures to ensure that they feel secure.

It is felt that 65 per cent of employees have to face lot of problems resulting in mental tension, if they have to work in the night shift. Only 32 per cent of the respondents perceived better pay package to be a major attraction for working in night shifts.

The rest responded that they are left with no other choice.

Is Mumbai really a safe city for women? Records suggest otherwise

If the incident of gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai was not enough to dent the city's image of being safe for women, India's crime records have revealed that the country's commercial capital witnessed 647 rape and 1,877 molestation cases in the last three years.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 1,781 incidents of crime against women in Mumbai in 2012 which include 234 rapes, 614 incidents of assault on women with the intent to outrage her modesty and 235 incidents of insult to the modesty of women.

While there were 221 rape and 553 molestation cases in Mumbai in 2011, as many as 194 rape and 475 incidents of molestation in the city were recorded in 2010. The recent brutal gangrape of the photojournalist by five men in a compound of a mill in Mumbai has sent shock waves across the nation as people from all walks of life have demanded harshest punishment to the perpetrators of the crime in the city considered to be far safer than some other metros.

Among the major cities, Delhi registered 585 cases of rape in 2012, Chennai (94), Kolkata (68), Bangalore (90), Hyderabad (74), Ahmedabad (63) and Bhopal (114). In 2011, there were 453 rapes in Delhi, 76 in Chennai, 46 in Kolkata, 59 in Hyderabad, 60 Ahmedabad and 100 in Bhopal.

There were 414 rape cases in Delhi in 2010, 47 in Chennai, 32 in Kolkata, 65 in Bangalore, 45 in Hyderabad, 49 in Ahmedabad and 73 in Bhopal.

In 2012, Delhi recorded 639 incidents of assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty and 181 incidents of insult to the modesty of women. Delhi recorded 556 incidents of molestation in 2011 and 550 incidents of molestation in 2010.

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