53% working women in India fear for their safety: Assocham

53% working women in India fear for their safety: Assocham

New Delhi: About 53% working women feel insecure, especially during night shifts in all major hubs of economic activity across the country. Most of them are employed in the BPO/ITeS, hospitality, civil aviation, medical and textile space. Their concern is that safety norms set up by their respective establishments are not adequate and given the increase in crime, their insecurities and fears are only going up.

According to the Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF), an assessment was carried out revealing that 48% of women who are engaged in the small-scale sector are extremely worried about their safety and nearly 26% in the medium sector and 23% in the large-scale establishments are scared to step out after the sun sets. .

Key Findings

* 34% women in the low skilled category are worried about their well being; 29% in the moderately skilled section and 8% among high skilled workforce

*The fast growing BPO/ ITeS, hospitality, civil aviation industry has generated parallel employment for cab drivers who have often been responsible for rash driving, accidents, eve teasing, rape and even murder

* 86% women on night shifts face commuting problems because of lack of adequate transport arrangements by employers. Those working in Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune face maximum commuting hurdles while those in Delhi, Hyderabad and Ludhiana the least

* In Bangalore, 75,000-95,000 women work in night shifts. There are around 2,200 IT firms in Bangalore, of which 1,600 are registered with the Department. In Bangalore, around 56% women respondents in a survey carried out amongst women working in night shifts in the IT, aviation, hospitals and BPO sector feel unsafe. Delhi topped the list with 65% of women followed by 35% in Hyderabad, 28% in Chennai and 26 % in Mumbai

* BPO/ITeS is not the only sector with post-sunset shifts. Women nurses have been doing night rounds as also those working in media, airlines, hotels and other service industries


* Companies to have an internal code to ensure security of women employees and to take measures to ensure they discharge their job in a secure atmosphere

* Governments to make it mandatory for companies to install Global Positioning System (GPS) in cabs, not only in call centres and BPO’s but all industries which engage women in night shifts

* Other measures that can be taken include providing self defense training to women; installing safety devices at the work place; undertaking police verification of cab drivers, security guards and peons who are deputed on night shifts and setting up efficient complaint redressal systems