In an attempt to make India’s capital safe for women, the U.S. government has granted $250,000 for a program “Delhi Safe City: Free of Violence against Women and Girls.”
The aid through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is granted to the organization named U.N. Women, which is a part of the United Nations Women’s Global Safe Cities Initiative.
“Such a grant will go a long way in ensuring women’s right to the city and the right to be free of fear,” said Dr. Rebecca Tavares, the U.N. women representative covering India, Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka, in the press release.
According to a press release the program will be implemented in partnership with Indian civil society organizations. It will involve taking actions like improving street lighting and designing new public safety plans. The program also works to reduce violence and harassment of women and girls in public places.
“The Safe Cities program is working towards creating a greater sense of safety and increased comfort of women and girls in public spaces. By changing mindsets and improving urban infrastructure, we can surely turn the tide,” Tavares said.
The Indian capital city has recently emerged as one of the most unsafe places for women. There was a massive public outrage against rape and violence against women in Delhi after the brutal gang rape of a 23 years old student, who died due to her severe injuries in December 2012.
The U.S. Ambassador to India, Nancy J. Powell, said that the United States recognizes gender-based violence as one of the most debilitating factors that impedes a woman’s participation in any economy in the world and her ability to access resources and services.
The announcement came in the same month as the International Day of the Girl Child and on the eve of the international community’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence beginning late November.
“Violence against women is preventable and not inevitable,” Tavares said.