Transport and Women's Safety - Rethinking Women's Safety in the Growing Intermediate Public Transportation Sector

Zainab Kakal, Jyot Chadha Sep 22, 2015

Harassment and sexual violence is a common experience for women and girls in public spaces around the world. Recent events have highlighted safety concerns for women in urban India, especially during travel. Access to safe travel options is critical to enable women and girls to access education, jobs, and healthcare. However, this remains a much-neglected area with little data and few laws, policies, and initiatives to prevent and address it.

EMBARQ India is developing a body of work to address these issues in urban transport. Our work up until now has primarily focused on safe access for women in public transport. However, mobility in cities is increasingly being transformed by technology-enabled shared mobility companies operating in the taxi, auto-rickshaw, ride-share, car pool, and employee transport space.

Given its growing importance, EMBARQ India conducted a workshop in Bangalore that brought together mobility companies, city authorities, and regulators. The workshop was the first of its kind in its design and bringing together stakeholders who are working towards the same goal, but were unlikely to meet and exchange ideas.

The aim of the workshop was to:

  • Discuss expectations of each stakeholder’s role
  • Understand the resources, constraints, and challenges of each stakeholder
  • Highlight gaps and disagreements in the current ecosystem
  • Brainstorm

To summarize, the workshop resulted in learnings in 3 key areas:

  • Problem definition
  • Role, resources, and constraints of stakeholders
  • Current initiatives and gaps

The following sections of this report expand on these key areas. In addition, the workshop resulted in the initial identification of areas for collaboration and development of systems that go beyond current adhoc and short-term measures. The report concludes with a short description of these areas, and proposes next steps.

If you have any questions or comments or would like to know more about the subject, contact Zainab Kakal at