Six out of ten women in Belgium feel insecure at events, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the “Publieke Impact” expertise centre of Antwerp’s Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Women’s access to events needs to be improved, because many of them still refuse to participate due to a lack of security, notes the centre. Faced with gender stereotypes and the fear of being harassed, they often prefer to stay at home.
Access to technology, gate prices, lack of childcare infrastructure or, quite simply, insufficient free time are all additional obstacles to women’s participation.
In addition, initiatives designed for women have too little visibility, such as the “Ask for Angela,” anti-harassment code, which allows a nocturnal person to alert the staff of a bar, restaurant or nightclub and ask for help.
There is therefore a need for in-depth reflection and a redesign beyond the simple adaptation of infrastructure to directly tackle the feeling of insecurity that reigns among women, the expertise centre stressed.
To do this, staff need to be trained to respond appropriately in the event of harassment or sexual violence. Profiling and camera surveillance can also help detect suspicious situations in a timely fashion and intervene proactively.