Navratri, a combination of ‘Nav’ and ‘Ratri’ is a celebration of nine nights, dedicated to various forms of the goddess. Navratri also becomes a time when we honor the strong and powerful women in our lives; women become symbols of the goddess.
On one hand, we glorify women and womanhood, and on the other, crimes against women have risen by 63.3% in the first 6 months of 2021. Why do we hear horrendous stories of rape and sexual harassment everyday, in a country where we revere mothers and sisters, where we bow down to the goddess?
Here are some more things to think about: According to a survey by YouGov, 52% urban Indian women feel unsafe while walking alone at night. This fear is most often shared by their families, who in a bid to protect them, end up curbing their freedom completely.
Not just roads, the words ‘public transportation’ leave a bad taste in the mouth of most women - and it’s no surprise why. 71% women have faced sexual harassment while using public transport. 77% of women feel unsafe while waiting at railway stations and bus stops. That’s 47,06,61,424.65 women feeling this fear.
Lack of safety then becomes an issue, that apart from being a life-threatening fear, also becomes the reason why women are policed. Countless women lose out on opportunities because their safety comes into question. In fact, 3 in 5 women have to limit their job opportunities because of unsafe travelling options, and long distances.
It’s well over time that unsafe roads and public transportation stop holding women back. It’s high time that women get to live like free citizens, in every sense. Women, like every human being, must have the freedom to live lives not devoid of opportunities - they must have the freedom to move about at night.
Women deserve respect and freedom all year around. Let’s work together to make the world a safer place, and let’s start with the gully outside our homes. Because, every night belongs to every woman.