A new research by ActionAidUK, which was been launched ahead of the charity’s International Safe Cities for Women’s day, in a bid to tackle the urban violence that women and girls struggle with globally reveals that three in four women have been subjected to harassment and violence in cities across the world, and described the situation as an “epidemic”. On average, 40 per cent of women who took part in the YouGov poll in Brazil, India, Thailand and the UK, said that they had been groped in public – the incidents ranged from being followed to sexual abuse.
The statistics reveals that,
In Britain, 43 per cent of women polled said they felt at risk of harassment on city streets and 36 per cent felt at risk travelling on public transport. figures are much higher than the average of 67 per cent across the country.
In Brazil, 55 per cent of women, aged between 18 and 24, said that they had been harassed at public or community events. The survey also shows that 22 per cent of women in Brazil who did not complete secondary school education had been raped, in comparison to two per cent of women with a professional qualification.
Across cities in Thailand older women were also at risk. The survey revealed that 20 per cent of the women aged 55 and over had been raped.
In North India, 89 per cent of women said they had experienced harassment of some sort, with 50 per cent experiencing unwanted bodily or physical contact of a sexual nature.
Sarah Carson, ActionAid’s Women’s Rights Campaign Manager said: “Behind every statistic are real women. Women who have been raped in their homes in the slums of Delhi, women in Brazil who fear the drug traffickers who dominate and control their neighborhoods, and garment workers in Cambodia and Thailand who are abused and harassed in and around their work place”
In light of this, ActionAid is urging the UK to contribute at least £70 million from its existing aid budget to help protect vulnerable women over the next three years.to which a Government spokesperson replied: “Every day the UK is improving the lives of women and girls in the world’s poorest places – working in 29 developing countries to tackle violence against women and girls and almost doubling our support programmes since 2012.”Over the past five years across the world we have helped over five million girls to get an education, given 2.5 million women the right to own land and helped 36 million women access financial services. This helps promote global prosperity, which is firmly in our interests.”
The study is the first major poll of its kind since attacks on women in European cities, such as Helsinki and Cologne, where dozens of women trying to see in the New Year were trapped in a crowd of 1,000 men, who groped them, tore off their underwear, shouted lewd insults and threw fireworks at them.