The new year is quickly approaching and with it, people will start to make resolutions. Usually, they are along the lines of going to the gym regularly, completing homework on time, giving more time to family, finally buying that one thing that you wanted or perhaps saving more money.
But how about apart from such kind of personal goals, you also set some goals for the safety and empowerment of women?
I know, that the subject is an overdone one, and truly a lot of people usually just go ‘what exactly can we do, this is on the government’. The government must take measures to make the country safer for women. But surprisingly there are a few things that we as a society can do in order to make this country just a little bit safer for women. It might not be a lot, but anything is better than nothing.
1. Gender sensitization in schools is a must nowadays
A lot of the times, only girls are called for workshops that talk about good touch/bad touch, menstruation, female safety classes and such. While boys, on the other hand, are left in class or sent out to play a sport. Instead of doing that, teachers should include boys, yes, even in menstruation introduction workshops so they know what it is about and are able to understand what females go through instead of making wrong jokes.
These classes should also address sexual consent, why it is so important and why a guy should immediately back off if a girl says no, is drunk, not in her senses and unable to give consent properly.
2. Stop being bystanders
Instead, take action if you see something going wrong. Recently, news came up of a rape that happened in broad daylight in Vizag and the only way the culprit was caught was because of a video recorded by an auto driver standing nearby.
While the recording helped a little, however, it would have helped even more had the auto driver actually tried to intervene. If you see a group of people standing witness to something wrong happening with a woman try and intervene when you can. Even if you don’t want to reveal your identity, you can just make an anonymous call to the police and report to them of what is happening, where it is happening and all such kind of information.
3. Parents need to stop victim shaming
Even in the home, this needs to stop as boys of the family hearing such comments can become influenced to think that it’s always the girls’ fault. The mentality that people form starts from childhood and how they see their parents reacting to certain news items.
It is not just about gender-neutral raising but also making sure that boys understand they are not superior to women, that there is nothing wrong if a boy wants to play with a Barbie or play house and there is nothing wrong if the girl wants to play with the army toy figures.
4. Colony RWA need to make sure that streetlights are in working conditions
There was recently an entire street near Anand Vihar metro station submerged in darkness. These kinds of dark streets further allow wrongdoers to get away with harassing, molesting and even raping women. Don’t leave them off to the MCD or government. Instead, the RWA of each colony should ensure that every street has at least 3-4 streetlights, they should remain in working condition and especially around corners and otherwise lonely areas.
5. Women need to take their safety into own hands
Mandatory classes of self-defence in schools is a good start. Even girls need to start taking an initiative to join classes like krav maga, judo, and other such street fight classes. Stop taking things passively and react then and there when someone bothers, eve-teases or harasses you.
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