By Neha Mahal (CDHR)
Urbanization and the question of women’s safety go hand in hand. Constant concern for safety from harassment is the major reason for women’s exclusion and thus inaccessibility to public spaces. This link between the dominant model of urbanization and exclusion of women from public spaces has been recognized as an area of intervention in post 2015 sustainable development goals under the urban SDG1. Mainstreaming of gender in urban development emphasizes women’s right to city by creating safer public spaces that allows them freedom of mobility.
In India, the 12th five year plan states the importance of including gender sensitivity in urban development2. Although the broader urban policy highlights the need for gender inclusive cities, its realization on the ground depends on institutionalizing this concern in everyday or local urban governance, a linkage which is missing in Indian cities.