Sixteen months after the video clip of a girl being molested in the streets of Guwahati on July 9,2012 went viral triggering sharp reactions across the country,a survey covering over 1000 women here revealed that more than 70 per cent women feel unsafe primarily due to the lack of an effective/visible police force in the city.
Being a woman was reported as the most important factor (71.4 per cent) affecting the personal security of women. Other major reasons included belonging from another state or region (11.4 per cent),a certain race/caste (5.4 per cent) and a certain religion (4.6 per cent), the report said.
According to Anurita Hazarika,programme manager of North East Network (NEN),the organization that carried out the survey,the main factors contributing towards women feeling unsafe include poor infrastructure like streetlights and signage,crowded public transport and bus stops,and the absence of an effective and visible police or civil guards.
The survey,covering 1,045 women,was conducted between November 2012 and January 2013,she said.
The first of its kind carried out in Guwahati,the largest city in the Northeast,which also boasts of being the Gateway to South-East Asia,also highlights the deplorable condition of open public spaces,poor public toilets (of whatever few the city has),use of alcohol and drugs by men,and lack of respect for women by men.
Assam figures at the top of the NCRBs all-India chart of in respect of crimes against women,with the state reporting 13,544 incidents of crimes against women during 2012.
The rate of cognizable crimes against women is also the highest (89.54 per cent) in Assam,the NEN survey report,quoting NCRB statistics,said.