Are Delhi pubs safe for girls

Many girls and women feel unsafe in big cities

Strolling through the park, taking the train home or going to meet friends: many girls and women no longer feel safe in these normal and seemingly harmless situations. Why?

Intrusive sayings while jogging in the park, persecution on poorly lit streets or indecent touch in the subway: According to a digital survey, girls and women do not always feel safe in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich. This emerges from a report presented by the children's aid organization Plan.

"Our survey made it clear that girls and young women in large German cities are sexually harassed, persecuted, threatened and insulted on a daily basis," said plan boss Maike Röttger. This denies them their right to move around their city safely and freely - to get to work or school, to meet up with friends or to go out.

One in five was already a victim

A total of almost 1,000 girls and women between the ages of 16 and 71 took part in the survey from January to March 2020. On an interactive map, they set so-called pins in places that they found safe or unsafe.

According to this, every fifth participant has already fallen victim to violence, persecution or threats. The most frequently mentioned reasons for feeling unsafe are encounters with groups of people who consume alcohol or drugs, poorly lit paths and parks as well as lonely areas where help would be lacking in an emergency.

Central station, parks and city centers

By far the most unsafe girls and women feel "on the street". This is followed in all cities by the location categories "public transport" and "green spaces". In Hamburg the girls and women especially feel unsafe at the main train station and on the Reeperbahn, in Cologne the majority of the negative pins were set in the city center, for example at Neumarkt. On the Berlin city map, on the other hand, there is not a single marker at the main train station, but negative pins are piling up at tourist points such as Alexanderplatz or in Friedrichshain. In Munich, parks like the English Garden were often rated as unsafe.

"The survey has shown that there is a great need for action," said Röttger. Every girl and woman has the right to move around the city freely and without fear. Urban development measures such as more or better lighting or the elimination of difficult-to-see, gloomy corners in parks, for example, would be a good first step.

Gender role models are among the triggers

"It is just as important, however, that we change gender role models that still suggest to many boys and men that it is completely okay to harass women," said Röttger. Stereotypes and discrimination are the deeper reasons why girls and women cannot feel safe.

The children's aid organization had already started the survey in 2018 in international metropolises such as Kampala, Delhi and Lima. "If you compare the numbers, you have to realize that girls and women from major German cities don't feel safer than those in the capitals of Uganda, India and Peru," said Röttger.

Number of crimes increased despite #Metoo

"Many girls and women often do not report such acts out of shame," said Mirko Streiber, head of the Hamburg State Criminal Police Office. Ad behavior has improved somewhat since the #Metoo debate, but it could get even better.

In fact, the number of crimes against sexual self-determination has risen compared to the previous year in all cities except Munich (Cologne: +5 percent, Hamburg: +6.9 percent, Berlin: +15 percent, Munich: -11.5 percent). At least in Hamburg this is due to more advertisements in the field of child pornography, said Streiber.

More on the topics

  • Germany,
  • Public transportation,
  • Children's Fund,
  • Child pornography,
  • Discrimination,
  • Alexanderplatz,
  • Munich,
  • Berlin,
  • Cologne,
  • Violence,
  • Victim,
  • Advisory News,
  • Sexual harassment