“Girls have a lot of restrictions on them. Boys don’t have any restrictions. Also boys say bad things when they see a girl by herself.” This is how a teenager from Jharkhand rationalises why there’s so much restrictions on her mobility.
Four years after the horrific murder and rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi, has any major change taken place in our attitude towards women empowerment? If the only way we can think of keeping women and girls safe is by confining them indoors, then it’s our outlook that needs to change. The right to public spaces, to free movement, the right to loiter, roam, walk free from fear are fundamental rights, which are infortunately denied to millions of women in this country even after almost 70 years after independence.
Public spaces across the country are still dominated by men. Women in those spaces are seen by many men as interlopers. To change the system we must change ourselves. Let’s reclaim the streets for everyone irrespective of their gender, class or caste.