Safe cities free from violence against women and girls

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Baseline finding from the "Safe Cities Delhi Programme"

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Nandita Bhatla, Pranita Achyut, Sancheeta Ghosh, Abhishek Gautam, Ravi Verma

In 2010, UN Women launched the “Global Programme on Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls,” in partnership with UN-Habitat, leading women’s organizations, and global and local partners in five pilot cities across the world, including Delhi. The aim was to prevent sexual violence in public spaces. The Safe City Delhi Programme is a collaborative effort by UN Women, UN Habitat, the Government of Delhi and the Indian non-governmental organization, Jagori. The International Center for Research on Women is the evaluation partner.

The first systematic household survey on sexual violence in public spaces was conducted in October and November 2012 as part of the evaluation of the Safe Cities programme. The programme baseline survey establishes key benchmark indicators of perceptions, attitudes and behaviours related to sexual violence that will be used in assessing progress after the first two-year phase of this pilot programme.

For the purposes of this study, we asked about a broad range of behaviors and divided the responses into five categories: 1) Sexual harassment (Sexual comments and jokes, whistling, leering or obscene gestures), 2)Flashing/exposing of men’s genitalia, 3)Stalking, 4) touching or groping women’s breasts or buttocks, and 5)sexual assault. (in this context referring to physically aggressive sexual attack)