A safe bus journey to Promote Safer Public Transport for Women and Girls
Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Jakarta, Indonesia — "There are several cases of harassment in public transport in Jakarta. However, many women who faced harassment does not report. I urged women who experienced harassment to report and those who saw it to take action, stop and prevent," said Daud Joseph, Chief Operation Officer of PT Transportasi Jakarta (Transjakarta), during his opening remarks at Safe Bus Journey event, organized by UN Women Indonesia, Transjakarta, Kalyana Mitra, and Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
In Indonesia, 1 in 3 women have experienced violence in their lifetime. According to National Commission on Violence against Women, only 268 street harassments has been reported. However, many violence cases are unreported due to social stigma, stereotypes and victim blaming. A scoping study conducted by UN Women Indonesia in 2017 found that women experienced some form of violence when accessing public transport; inside the bus, train and even taxi.
Safe Bus Journey which was held to mark the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence aims to promote women and girls' access to public transportation free from violence. The activity started with a journey with Transjakarta bus, where UN Women shared about Safe Cities pilot project in Jakarta and brief instruction on Safety Walk. The Safe Bus Journey followed by Safety Walk exercise by walking through spaces and assessing the factors that leads to safety and unsafety. During the Safety Walk, participants completed a form where they rate the safety of various public spaces in the area using several parameters, from lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, security, walk path, availability of public transport and gender diversity. The event end with a discussion on "Making a Safer Public Transport for Women and Girls".
"I joined the Safe Bus Journey because I am concerned with Jakarta's public transport and urban planning. Today, I got a lot of information and positive expectation for Jakarta's development. I am sure that, in the future, Jakarta's public transport will be friendly and safer for women and girls as I see a lot of progress now. However, the remaining questions is when?" said Kimmi from Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group who participates in the Safe Bus Journey.
The Safe Bus Journey is part of UN Women's "Safe Cities" initiatives in Jakarta. This initiative aims to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive approaches to prevent and respond to sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces. This is done through data collection of relevant parameters and the identification of interventions. The Safe Cities initiative provides the local Government and urban planners with recommendation that support the creation of a safe public spaces for women and girls that are free from violence.
Sabine Machl, the UN Women Representative in Indonesia said "The perceived or real fear of being exposed to sexual violence or harassment is often limiting women and girls' access to public spaces in the city and their ability to move around. The ability to access safe, reliable transport enables women to participate in economic activity, access education, health providers and other important services. Improvement of public infrastructure and facilities is vital to ensure women and girls' safety and security in urban contexts. At the same time there is a need to change and challenge social stereotypes around violence. We need to work together to stop all forms of violence and harassment of women and girls everywhere, no matter whether it occurs."
Messages to Stop Harrasment against Women and Girls in the Transjakarta Bus and Shelter
At the same time, a banner developed by UN Women for TransJakarta with messages known as "3 M" to Stop Harrasment against Women and Girls in Public Transportation: Menegur (to stop), Memisahkan (to separate the victim from the perpetrator), Melaporkan (to report) was launched. The banner was placed in 8 Transjakarta shelters: Ragunan (South Jakarta), Dukuh Atas, Sarinah, Stasiun Kota, Harmoni (Central Jakarta), Grogol (West Jakarta), Kampung Melayu, Cawang UKI (East Jakarta). In addition, a video with the same messages was shown in 3 Transjakarta busses and in all shelters.
Prior to the campaign launch, UN Women conducted a capacity building to 21 Transjakarta staff on creating a safer public transportation. The training aimed to increase understanding and skills of Transjakarta's staff in preventing and handling violence against women and girls in their working environment. The training was attended by management, master drivers and field staff of TransJakarta.