There aren’t a lot of studies out there about street harassment, so this week I was happy to read about two more. They were recently conducted in Korea and India.
#1: In a study of 828 salaried employees in an unnamed city in Korea, 43 percent said they experienced sexual harassment during their commute, and 79 percent were women. Via The Korean Times:
“Nearly 72 percent of the incidents occurred on subway cars, followed by buses at 27.3 percent and taxis at 1.1 percent. Nearly 60 percent said they experienced harassment between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. when most workers are on their way to work, while 17 percent were between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. while returning home from work.
About 61.9 percent said at the time of the sexual harassment, it was too crowded for them to move within the subway train or bus. In response to the harassment, 43.2 percent said they did nothing about it, and 25 percent moved to a different place. Only 18.2 percent strongly protested against the assailants and 6.3 percent shouted in anger.”
Unfortunately, the findings aren’t too different from surveys conducted in Chicago and New York City regarding harassment on the transit systems. The growing number of women-only transit around the world plus studies like these are a testament to the global problem of sexual harassment on public transportation.
#2: In the state capitol of Thiruvananthapurm in the south Indian state Keralaas, 1000 women were recently interviewed about street harassment. Ninety-eight percent said they had experienced it and 90 percent said the harassment was either physically or vocally violent. The harassment was notable on public transportation and 62 percent had experienced it there. Only seven percent had reported any of their experiences of harassment.
The study was part of UNIFEM’s safe cities project in India and once they have completed their studies they will work on solutions to make public places safer for women and girls. I met several people working on this initiative within the UN and Jagori at a recent conference in India. I am so grateful for the work they are doing!