Amnesty International India partners with Western Railways for women’s safety

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Amnesty International India is collaborating with the Railway Protection Force, Western Railways in Mumbai to promote and ensure women passengers’ right to safety.

As part of the collaboration, Amnesty International India will hold sessions on gender sensitivity and sexual harassment for officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Mumbai from June to September. The first session was held today with 30 senior officials, on how officials can effectively handle complaints of sexual harassment on trains and railway platforms.

“Local trains are Mumbai’s lifeline, and this is an opportunity for us to work together for the safety of thousands of women travelers. It is encouraging to see the Western Railways & the Railway Protection Force proactively work to address concerns over women’s safety,” said Gopika Bashi, Senior Campaigner for Women’s Rights at Amnesty International India. “The tie–up will help railway officials to handle complaints of sexual harassment with greater sensitivity and awareness.”

To create awareness about the process of reporting sexual harassment, the Western Railways will play information jingles at several stations in Mumbai, including Dadar, Malad, Lower Parel, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali and Santa Cruz.

“The Railway Protection Force wants to ensure that women can approach us freely with their concerns, and that we can help promptly. We have a limited number of women police personnel to prevent sexual harassment in trains. The partnership will help increase awareness among passengers about women safety and also help us improve our existing knowledge in dealing with incidents of harassment,” said Anand Jha, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Western Railways (Mumbai division).

The Indian Railways operates a 24-hour security helpline (182). Maharashtra’s Government Railway Police operates a number (+91983333111) which women can use to complain about sexual harassment they face during their travel.

About Ready to Report

Ready to Report is an Amnesty International India campaign to ensure that women who choose to report sexual violence can do so safely, with dignity and without facing prejudice.

Surveys show that an estimated 31 per cent of women who experience sexual violence tell someone about the incident, but only 1 per cent end up reporting it to the police, due to concerns including security, social stigma and discrimination.

Women face many barriers to being able to report crimes to the police. The website highlights the multiple challenges that survivors of sexual violence face. The Ready to Report campaign aims to reduce barriers and change perceptions about reporting.