Many Sri Lankan women are harassed in public transport

November 30th, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Nov 30 (IANS) Many Sri Lankan women travelling in public transport face some form of “sexual harassment” mainly in the cosmopolitan areas, a media report quoting a research study said Sunday.According to the report, a study conducted by the Legal Aid Commission has “found that two out of every five women experienced some form of sexual harassment on buses and trains”.

“Most women, who claim to be victims of sexual harassment while using public transport, complained that men tend to ignore their objections… Many admitted they had witnessed numerous instances of sexual harassment,” a Colombo-based English weekly, Lakbima News, reported.

Several thousands, mainly public sector employees, use public transport daily to enter and exit Colombo.

The study has also found that some people were of the view that women were “inviting sexual advances through their choice of dress”.

“Interestingly, two percent of female respondents said they actually enjoyed the attention of some men,” the report quoted the island-wide study as saying.

The study covered 1,850 government servants from 185 institutions, 1,200 schoolchildren, 400 from non-governmental institutions and 500 random people of various age groups.

Some men “complained that women make it difficult for them to travel freely in buses and trains”.

“They claimed that women constantly bumped into them and were pressing bags and other baggage against their persons,” it said.

It said that outer Colombo areas such as Horana, Marawila, Avissawella and Kandy were places where sexual harassment “was rampant”.

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