In today’s world, the position of women in society has changed a lot from that of previous years. Today, women are in every sphere of life. Today, they compete with men and walk matching every step with them. They have become quite career oriented now and want to establish their own identity. With an aim to establish their identity many women have started working in night shifts also, whether it’s a BPO industry or IT industry. But the question is ‘how safe is it for women to work at night?’
Seeing the many cases of past, it would not be wrong to say that it is not at all safe for women to work at night. The criminal cases against women are increasing every other moment. The sexual exploitation against women has almost become a natural phenomenon in our country. The cases and statistics available with us are shocking, heart throbbing and sad.
Pratibha Srikanth Murthy, a twenty-four year BPO employee of Hewlett Packard was raped and murdered while she was going for her night shift to her call centre in Bangalore on 13 December, 2005. If we go two years before this case, that is, in 2003 a speaker at the IT conference in India had reported that one of her employees in Chennai called her New York office in panic as the shuttle van that used to transport employees during the night had been pulled away b the police. Inspite of having identity cards, women were accused of being prostitutes.
Not only this, the official statistics reveal that in the past five years, 23 women have been kidnapped and raped out of which 11 women have been raped last year itself. Most of these women were targeted while they were returning their homes after completing their night shifts. However, these are just the official statistics while the fact is that there are numerous other ‘unregistered’ cases where women have been sexually exploited as hardly 10% of the total cases are reported to police.
Besides, according to a survey conducted among women who work in night shifts, in Bangalore about 56% women feel unsafe working in night shifts in IT, aviation, hospitals and BPO sector. Delhi has the worst scenario with 65% women feeling unsafe working at nights followed by Hyderabad with 35%, Chennai with 28% and Mumbai with 26%.
All these cases and statistics show the cruelty with which these women get molested and also show the highly insecure environment in which women work. Thus, it is not at all safe for women to work in night shifts. But the question is that what is the solution for it? Should women stop working in night shifts? Certainly, not. Women should not put restrictions on themselves due to the inhuman nature of others. The government should think of the ways to provide more safety to women. Also, women should be taught some ways to protect themselves. For instance, women should always carry pepper spray with themselves at night.
To conclude, it is, certainly, not safe for women to work in night shifts as the cases of criminalities against them are increasing every day. Thus, the solutions have to be thought both by the government and the women themselves to protect women against such psycho and inhuman people.