Mar 05, 2019

90% of females travelling by bus, sexually harassed Featured

Around 90% of women and girls using public transport are sexually harassed, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

They said that of those who face sexual harassment on public transport, only around 4% complain about it to the police.

This information had been gathered through national studies done in Sri Lanka.

In view of the International Women’s Day, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) conducted a public exhibition together with the Colombo Municipal Council, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation under the title, “Does she travel safe?”

The Mayor of Colombo Rosie Senanayake said sexual harassment in public transport is a priority national issue that needs continuous policy level action and that women should be part of the planning and implementation of development projects to ensure a holistic approach towards making Colombo a safer space for all women and girls.

A photo and video collection is also included in the exhibition which would be held until March 08th from 8.0am-8.00pm at the Colombo Municipality grounds.

Malki’s account of harassment in busses

Meanwhile, a private sector employee Malki Opatha has gained popularity over her rev elations regarding the harassment faced by females on busses.

She had posted several videos of women being sexually harassed on busses on YouTube.


 "When I was travelling by bus and was seated near the window, the man next to me had exposed his private parts. I immediately got up and wanted to scream, but I could not. It was when I faced such an incident that I decided to speak up against it. That is why I posted this incident on Twitter,” Malki said.

If you face harassment, what should you do?

The police said that if you ever face such an incident of harassment in public transport, immediately notify the bus conductor and those around you.

In addition, immediately call 119 or 1938 and notify the police. In most instances the police are unable to take action against such perpetrators as victims are reluctant to complain about it, the police said.