fredag 3. mars 2023

Why half of India's urban women stay at home

Nineteen-year-old Manisha works as a full-time maid at a house on the outskirts of the Indian capital, Delhi. Back home in Jharkhand, she dropped out of school as public transport was irregular and sexual harassment on the roads was common. She travelled to the Indian capital, and got herself a job in an apartment. But still she does not venture out much, citing difficulties in commuting and lack of safety.

"I am working but I only go out once or twice a month. I don't feel comfortable on the streets," she says.

Manisha's story wouldn't come as a surprise to Rahul Goel, an assistant professor of transportation research at Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). He has used data from India's first Time Use Survey - which measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities - to find out more about how gender inequality impacts daily mobility. (Surveyors spread out across India in 2019 collecting information on how people used their time the day before the interview.) In particular, Mr Goel looked at a dataset of 170,000 people living in cities and towns, who were a part of the survey.

The findings were striking. When surveyors visited households, more than half - 53% - of women said they had not stepped outside home the previous day. Only 14% of the men said they had also stayed in.