Despite a slew of measures taken by police to ensure safety of women working in night shifts,nearly 73 per cent of them still feel insecure in all major hubs of economic activities across the country,a survey here has claimed.
Conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM),the survey has pegged Delhi as the most unsafe metro for women who work in night shifts,followed by Bangalore,Hyderabad,Chennai and Mumbai.
The assessment is based on a feedback received from over 2,000 women in small,medium and large scale firms in ten major cities across the country.
Categorising as “most vulnerable” women working in BPOs,IT sector,hospitality and media,the survey noted that employees in these sectors are more prone to both physical and non-physical attacks,especially after duty hours.
“This has led to a huge attrition rate amongst females in these sectors,” it said.
Inadequate transport arrangements,lack of internal code to ensure security of women employees and official callousness,among others,were cited as reasons for the high crime rate against women.
“Over 86 per cent of women on night shifts face commuting problems because of lack of adequate transport arrangements by employers and Delhi witnessed this problem the most,followed by Mumbai,Kolkata and Pune,” the survey said.
On why Delhi is still considered unsafe for women despite a series of initiatives,Suman Nalwa,the Additional Deputy Police Commissioner in Crime Against Women cell of Delhi Police,said that numerous measures have been taken to ensure women’s security but admitted “a lot more needs to be done”.
“We admit a lot of things need to be done. But people need to appreciate us for the efforts we have already made.
Over the last five years Delhi police has undergone a huge transformation and now we are more women-friendly than say a decade ago,” said Nalwa.
“PCR vans are being strategically deployed where risks for women are high,155 emergency vans have been stationed across the capital to reduce the response time,women help desks have been set up..these are just few of the many initiatives we have taken,” Nalwa listed.
The survey also noted that women employees in small-scale firms witnessed the highest number of cases of mental harassment (21 per cent),followed by moderate firms(14 per cent) and large-scale firms (8 per cent).
“A safe work environment is an inviolable part of creating employment opportunities for women. Gender discrimination eventually deals a blow to the economy,” it said.
Mandatory installation of GPS in cabs,undertaking police verification of cab drivers and security guards deputed on night shifts and setting up of efficient complaint redressal systems,are among the recommendations made by the study.