Most people would say that modern life is much safer compared to previous centuries. International agreements and treaties protect us from wars, innovative and developed medicine save millions of lives from even the deadliest diseases, and local and international laws provide us with security and a feeling of safety on the streets in a majority of Western countries. However, and despite a lot of effort, not all of these features truly protect people even in highly developed states.
Even though politicians and the media constantly talk about equal rights of all citizens and the growing success in the fight against gender inequality in recent years, feeling safe and secure is still a privilege reserved mostly for men.
According to a YouGov research in 2019 , around half of all women feel unsafe in various routine situations, while men rather feel secure and safe in the same context.
The insecurity and awareness of women in this study are related to them moving from one place to another, whether it’s a walk from work to their home or traveling to another country. For instance, the average man is able to easily travel by hitch-hiking, while among women this practice is considered high-risk. Such an evident polarity in opportunities leads to thoughts about the difference in men’s and women’s freedom, which are in the end validated and maintained by our own societies.
The situation seems even grimmer after realizing that the surveys from 2007 have very similar data as the same surveys from 2019, and the data hasn’t significantly changed during the last twelve years.
For instance, 62% of women that had to go out at night were afraid to go alone, and 66% of interviewed women were afraid to go through certain neighborhoods.
Women are as insecure while using public transport, walking in the park, or going out alone as they were more than ten years ago according to the data provided in the research by Stéphanie Condon, Marylène Lieber, Florence Maillochon in 2007.
From this data, it appears that society just ignores this issue of women's safety and doesn’t try to change anything at all. All of these statistics clearly show that women’s freedom of movement is constantly violated and somehow it has become an ordinary issue even for women themselves.
Because of how constant this issue is, women might not even try to move freely anymore, and many have begun to think of this as just a normal part of life.
The sustained sense of danger requires women to avoid many ordinary situations and protect themselves with various creative methods.
Six in ten women regularly take various precautions to avoid a sexual assault or street harassment, whether it be avoiding walking in certain areas or avoiding walking alone at all and preferring moving by personal transport or taxi.
The point is therefore, that women have needed to adapt their routines and daily activities due to safety considerations, when actually safety should not even be an issue.
What do we need to feel and be safer?
The evident obstruction of women’s rights and freedom due to safety concerns has challenged people towards creating solutions to protect women in potentially dangerous situations. The market already offers women and girls access to self-defense tools and techniques, apps and other tools that might be useful for particular live situations.
SafeUP is one of these tools. For those 50% of women who feel safer when accompanied, SafeUP is the perfect and simple solution to their day to day worries.
No neighborhood will ever be too scary or dark when knowing that a community near you will have your back. Just pull out your phone and within seconds our SafeUP guardians will be with you.
But these solutions are for real-time situations. It is still imperative to change society and its vision on women's safety. We should all be able to comprehend that actions such as catcalling, whistling, unwanted sexual comments, unwelcome sexual touching, or following girls as an attempt to demonstrate interest, joke or to get her phone number is not acceptable.
Any of these inappropriate behaviors that are usually perpetrated by men, even if they think it's funny or not, are the main reason why women do not feel safe while out on their own.
However, until the process of educating people on gender violence, its roots and how we can solve it, women must have the right and opportunity to create communities and safe spaces in which they can share their experiences and perspectives on the subject. The idea of creating empathic and trustworthy communities, where its members could assist each other in dealing with difficult and even harmful situations - is one of the main goals of SafeUP.
We are trying to not only provide women with a useful and secure app but also to show them how important and meaningful the power of community can be. By joining SafeUP, women are getting a chance to be connected to women willing to help them and support them, and furthermore, a chance to be the ones who provide this support and help.
Only by combining powers and aspirations to protect our right to feeling confident regardless of whether we are walking at night, during the day, wearing a mini or maxi dress, can women begin to change the reality we live in.
The greater our numbers, the greater our power. By joining SafeUP and becoming a guardian, you can easily take an active role in helping women feel safer wherever they are going. Join us and be a part of our community here.