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Perceptions of gender-based violence around public toilets in Mumbai slums

Belur, J; Parikh, P; Daruwalla, N; Joshi, R; Fernandes, R; (2017) Perceptions of gender-based violence around public toilets in Mumbai slums. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice , 41 (1-2) pp. 63-78. 10.1080/01924036.2016.1240094. Green open access

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Abstract

The lack of adequate public toilets and associated gender-based violence around their use is a matter of concern in many developing countries and has recently come to the forefront of the political agenda and media discourse in India. Previous research suggests the absence of lighting, inadequate provision of basic sanitation, poor design and siting of toilets, and lack of police presence in slums as facilitators for violence against women. However, the evidence is often anecdotal and usually unsystematic. The exact extent of crimes against women in these circumstances is unknown because unsurprisingly women in slums rarely report crimes to the police, either due to fear or lack of access. The research reported in this paper gauges women’s perception and experience of crime and violence around different types of public toilets in two slums areas in Mumbai, India. A survey of 142 households indicated that although women’s fear of crime was higher than their actual experience, the perception of insecurity was not uniform for all toilet types and locations. Findings also indicated that there was at least minimal provision of toilet facilities, basic security features, water, and electric supply in the research sites. Furthermore, greater police presence and previous contact with the police in one slum area led for greater confidence in reporting offences to the police as compared to the other. Overall, better provision of lighting and regular police patrols were considered by a majority of those surveyed to reduce fear of crime around toilets.

Type: Article
Title: Perceptions of gender-based violence around public toilets in Mumbai slums
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01924036.2016.1240094
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/01924036.2016.1240094
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice on 13/10/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01924036.2016.1240094.
Keywords: Gender-based violence, slums, public toilets, fear of crime, India
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1516096
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