Public transport for women in India was not ideal long before the horrific gang rape on a bus in December 2012. There’s a reason all-female cars exist on Delhi’s metro system.
For a while, a recommended alternative for women facing rampant sexual harassment on public transportation, particularly those traveling late at night, was private cars or radio taxis — which are cabs fitted with GPS, so they can be tracked. Most offices provide cabs home for female employees working late.
But now, even these trusted options have come under scrutiny. On July 2, a woman in Delhi booked a cab through an app on her phone, and she said the driver who picked her up masturbated while taking her home.
Given the immense difficulty of preventing sexual harassment, even the cab services in Delhi have started to resort to segregation. Delhi-based Sakha Consulting provides cabs with female drivers that only women or men accompanying women can take.
Deepali Bhardwaj, chief operating officer at Sakha Consulting, which is a for-profit company, said their female drivers experience “driving as a very liberating and empowering option; it was breaking a glass ceiling.”
“It is something extremely liberating not only for the chauffeur, but also for the commuter,” she continued.