How can women get into the Indian defense

Indian women demand a right to security

Perhaps these protests were the cornerstone of lasting change. Local and national authorities suddenly approved money for new women's safety initiatives. In 2013, the government reserved 130 million euros in the so-called Nirbhaya Fund for measures to improve the safety of women. The current government is making almost three times as much promises to make eight major cities, including Delhi, safer places with better street lighting, for example.

In Delhi, the police are now offering free ten-day self-defense courses for women and are roaming the city to show larger groups the techniques on their doorstep. In the state of Kerala, female police units, the Pink Police, have been put together. They patrol and handle emergency calls from women.

Pink is also the color of most offers for women on public transport. Pink auto rickshaws are reserved for women and are intended to be driven by women. Because there are too few female drivers, men who can show clearance certificates issued by the police are also allowed to drive the rickshaws. Delhi's subways now have women's wagons.

But government orders are not the only way to ensure that citizens feel comfortable in public. The global movement #TakeBackTheNight also brings brave women together in India to walk the streets after dark. And under the hashtag #MeetToSleep, 600 women across the country got together last year to spend a night outdoors, just like Indian men do. It is difficult to change their attitude that these women are intruders into their territory. But it's possible.

This article has been shortened. The complete version can be found in the 11/2019 issue of National Geographic magazine with the title "Women: Why the future is female".