By: Daniela Navas
Millions of women worldwide feel unsafe while using public transportation. This needs to change. It is time to create safer transport ecosystems!
It does not matter if it is a wealthy or a developing country, gender-based violence is a universal problem that requires all of our attention. Many women feel exposed to physical violence, sexual harassment or other forms of undesirable behavior in public transport. Nevertheless, this is not just a moral issue; it affects us socially and economically because it reinforces inequality in many ways.
The International Transport Forum, an organization that acts as a think tank for transport policy, addressed this topic very seriously in Paris, earlier this year. More than 50 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development-OCDE reunited to discuss women’s safety, in order to ensure the global action required to solve this global issue. Violence against women as passengers or employees in the sector is a huge problem that needs urgent addressing.
The Forum was a space to share initiatives to enhance greater gender equality in the sector. For instance, the transit agencies that are creating a culture among their employees that guarantees that every report of harassment and assault is taken seriously in the United States, or the EU initiatives that finance a number of research projects with the purpose of creating a safer travel environment for everyone. Such projects are extremely important in a world in which 80% of women who have been assaulted do not think their complaint had negative consequences for the offender, according to the 2017 survey by the European Transport Workers’ Federation.
Some of the suggestions to solve the safety issue include improving lighting in public transport stations and infrastructures, increasing the presence of police personnel at peak times, displaying advertisements educating people on the spectrum of abuse as well as the legislation, making reporting incidents easier so that more women do it. However, possibly the most important one was to encourage stakeholders to design transport systems with women in mind.
It is important to take into consideration women’s specific needs when developing new technologies, they use public transportation more than men do and they represent more than half of the global population. Therefore, women’s safety problems are human’s safety problems.
Since women depend on public transport for access to employment, education and other public services, making it hard for them to get to point A to point B, only reinforces inequality, which definitely affects also our economic system.
It is necessary to initiate a cultural change through educational campaigns, but entrepreneurs, government officials, designers, drivers and users have a huge responsibility in re-shaping and creating the new mobility industry, taking into account the global problems described before.
It is a huge challenge. Yet, digitalization and new transport models that are arising due to Mobility as A Service – MaAs can provide better, safer, more accessible and more affordable services. The future is near and it is safer and smarter!
At EYESAFE we stand for safety, transparency and trust. It is our goal to create a safer and smarter mobility landscape starting with the taxi industry, for all human beings. We will devout our resources to create a safe environment where specific tools, regulations and procedures are implemented and actively enforced.
Remember: Your safety is our peace of mind!
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