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Children's Voice: How Do We Make Girls Feel Safer?

Romsha Vats   •   11 Dec, 2023   •   5 mins

Catch Newsahoot readers discussing current affairs in our exclusive series!

The Hoot Hour - Ep.14.

This week’s episode of ‘ The Hoot Hour’ touched on an important topic that came to light after the UP government passed a law banning evening classes for girls — How do we make girls feel safer?

Our speakers discussed their opinions on this recently passed law, the public spaces that are unsafe for girls after dark, other factors that contribute to girls’ unsafety, and possible solutions to make society safer for them.

We extend our congratulations to all participants and thank them for taking the time to contribute to this socially-relevant discussion:

  1. Dhwani (St. Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh)
  2. Nidhi (Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Aya Nagar)
  3. Puneet (Stepping Stones School, Behlolpur)
  4. Ridhima (Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh)
  5. Tejas Roy (Holy Child Public School, Sector-75, Faridabad)

The discussion started with our speakers sharing their thoughts on the UP government’s law. Puneet believed that the law was partly wrong since it was directly affecting girls’ aspirations and partly right because it would protect them from crimes. Dhwani and Nidhi claimed that the bill was unacceptable since girls have the right to go anywhere at any time. Ridhima opposed the law because it was outrightly discriminating against girls.

The conversation then moved towards discussing the most unsafe public spaces that girls may encounter during nighttime. Marketplaces and dark, unlit streets were the main places where our panellists felt girls would feel unsafe. Ridhima noted how there’s no one specific place that can be labelled unsafe since girls can be harassed anywhere.

Then, our participants gave various solutions to make girls feel safer at night. An increase in the number of female cab drivers was suggested, and the usefulness of pepper spray, temporarily blinding lights and self-defence were talked about.

Next, the speakers talked about other reasons that make girls feel unsafe. Dhwani shared that girls feel uncomfortable when boys stare at them inappropriately, while Nidhi added that boys' passing unnecessary comments was also a problem. Ridhima noted that girls feel scared when boys roam around in a group and try to follow them. Puneet observed that boys sometimes force girls to go somewhere or try something against their wishes.

The episode ended with discussing how we can make our society safer for girls and women of all ages. Our speakers put forth many innovative ideas like improving internet connectivity, increasing the number of female police officers, creating sensors that help identify a woman in need, etc. Watch the full episode to know more.

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