Without safe travel we will lose voices and participation of women and girls
If women and girls cannot travel safely, with confidence and assurance, then their participation in so many aspects of life will inevitably be limited, say the Scottish Greens.
The point was made by the Scottish Greens equalities spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, today during a Scottish Parliament debate on new Scottish Government research on Women and Girls’ Safety on Public Transport.
The research showed that across Scotland women and girls are adapting their behaviour in order to feel safer when travelling or working on public transport.
Maggie is currently working with Unite Hospitality and other stakeholders to prepare a Bill that would make free transport home for late-night workers a prerequisite for all new liquor licences.
Speaking in the debate, Maggie Chapman said:
“If women and girls cannot travel safely, with confidence and assurance, then their voices and their participation in so many aspects of life will inevitably be limited: in work and study, in social, cultural, political and sporting activities, as volunteers, as activists, as environmental protectors. We cannot afford to lose their contributions.
“We need to address the cause of women’s and girls’ experiences of danger and hostility, not just mitigate its effects. And the cause, let us be frank, is misogyny. A misogyny which often intersects, brutally, with other forms of bigotry and bullying, including racism, homophobia and transphobia.
“Technical responses, monitoring and infrastructure, are welcome but they can’t be the whole answer. Because this isn’t, fundamentally, an issue of technology, it’s an issue of people.
“When it comes to public transport, we need to see what we saw on Kenmure Street, what we see in neighbourhood food larders and climate camps, that is a sense of shared responsibility for one another, of solidarity, and the creation and nurturing of a culture of care.
“That’s why I’m particularly pleased to see the recommendation about transport workers’ being provided with safe transport when they return home at night.
“This reflects my own proposed Members Bill to ensure that employers provide free and safe travel home for hospitality workers following late shifts. Everybody should be able to finish work with peace of mind and the knowledge that they can get home safely. "