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Journal Article

'Shall We Go out?' Women's Safety in Public Spaces in Delhi

Kalpana Viswanath and Surabhi Tandon Mehrotra
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 42, No. 17 (Apr. 28 - May 4, 2007), pp. 1542-1548
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4419521
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
'Shall We Go out?' Women's Safety in Public Spaces in Delhi
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Abstract

A city needs to be imagined as a space occupied by diverse sets of people with diverse needs and aspirations. The quality of a city has to be judged by what it offers to its residents - the right to live, move around and work with dignity and safety. Delhi falls short on delivering this to many of its residents, especially the more vulnerable and marginalised populations. We address this issue from the perspective of women's access and right to public spaces. For many women and men, the anonymity of a city's public spaces offers the space and freedom to escape the hold of the family or the traditional community. But for women, this freedom is severely hampered by the high rates of violence against women that have come to define Delhi. In order to understand the gendered nature of access to public spaces and its effect on women's mobility, Jagori conducted over 30 "safety audits" around the city. These audits, along with the findings from a survey of 500 women across the city and several group discussions, provide the data which this paper uses to explore the ways in which public spaces are viewed and accessed differently by men and women.

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