Public transportation seems to be a great place for men to harass women. From India to Mexico to Japan to New York City to London, it is not an uncommon experience. Now I know it’s a problem in Nepal, too, thanks to a recent news article.
“Commuting in congested public transport vehicles is an ordeal in itself. Being subjected to sexual harassment at the same time makes the whole process an unbearable and unavoidable chore for the fairer sex; particularly those of such a young age.
Pushing and shoving is a common sight in buses and microbuses during morning and evening rush hours, and the intensity increases if there is a young lady around. The conversations of surrounding men begin to take on vulgar connotations.
While light-hearted flirting may add some spice to anotherwise unpleasant journey, getting physical crosses the line of decency, taking the fun out of it altogether.’We regularly face harassment while using public transport,’ says Pratima, a twelfth-grader at VS Niketan. ‘We don´t mind some friendly flirting, but they (boys) don´t stop at that and start to talk nonsense.’
‘We dread crowded buses, but we have to board them. We cannot miss our college, can we?’ her classmate Anita adds. ‘The khalasis (helpers/conductors) are always on a lookout for excuse to get their hands on us.’ ….
Lack of legal remedy doesn´t help matters. ‘There is no separate law to handle the issue. One can complain about such harassments under the Public Offense Act, but nothing much can be done as it is very difficult to provide concrete evidence of such offenses,’ says Rita Mainali, assistant professor in Human Rights and Gender Justice at the Kathmandu School of Law…”
The injustices women face just trying to get to and from work and school worldwide is depressing. Today, thinking about it also makes me feel tired and weighed down 😦