1 January 2020

Safe ride: Tackling gender norms and preventing sexual harassment on public transport

Author: Carmen Leon-Himmelstine, Fiona Samuels, Alex Munive, Anja Stuckert
Published by: Plan International
View toolkit
Cover of toolkit

Research shows that adolescent girls and young women experience sexual harassment, often on a daily basis, when using public transport – be it from other passengers or drivers and ticket sellers themselves. Strong gender norms around sexual harassment prevail which prevent adolescent girls and young women from moving freely and safely around the city. 

This includes blaming the adolescent girls and young women for being survivors of gender-based violence instead of placing the blame and onus on the perpetrators. There is often little or no support from drivers, ticket sellers, or bystanders when they witness girls being sexually harassed.

Addressing gender norms and how they influence girls’ perceptions of and actual safety is therefore key to the Safer Cities for Girls programme. This guidance addresses the key questions around how to change gender norms and the corresponding behaviour within the informal and formal transportation sectors to decrease gender-based violence for adolescent girls when using transportation services.