Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

The Experience and Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Against Women in Public Transportation: The Case of Mexico City

Poster Number

67

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

3-2016

Abstract

Background: A recent poll placed Mexico City as the second most unsafe city for female passengers. Evidence suggests that 65% of women in Mexico City experience gender-based violence (GBV) while traveling in the public transportation system.

Methods: In December 2014, as part of a pilot evaluation of an intervention, “Hazme el Paro”, seeking to promote safer environments and reduce the incidence of GBV for women traveling by bus, we surveyed 1,509 randomly selected women and men on two of the city’s busiest bus routes.

Results: Our findings indicate that, while traveling by bus, 58% of women have experienced GBV whereas 67% of men reported having witnessed GBV against women. Moreover, 18% of passengers reported believing that it is dangerous for women to travel alone. Among women, factors that significantly predicted perceived risk of traveling alone include personal experience with GBV (OR=1.92, 95% CI=1.12-3.31), having observed GBV against other women (OR=1.64, 95% CI=1.10-2.47) and the belief that women are personally responsible for their experience of GBV (victim blaming) (OR=1.80, 95% CI=1.15-2.84). For men, having observed GBV against women (OR=6.41, 95% CI=3.41-12.04) was the only predictor significantly associated with perceived risk for women traveling alone.

Conclusion: To improve the safety of women traveling in public transportation and reduce the incidence of GBV among female passengers in Mexico City, efforts should be targeted towards changing the social norms that sanction aggression towards women, specifically reducing victim blaming as this behavior inhibits reporting, encouraging effective nonviolent intervention by drivers and passengers, and improving the mechanisms for reporting perpetrators.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Presented at: GW Research Days 2016

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The Experience and Perceptions of Sexual Harassment Against Women in Public Transportation: The Case of Mexico City

Background: A recent poll placed Mexico City as the second most unsafe city for female passengers. Evidence suggests that 65% of women in Mexico City experience gender-based violence (GBV) while traveling in the public transportation system.

Methods: In December 2014, as part of a pilot evaluation of an intervention, “Hazme el Paro”, seeking to promote safer environments and reduce the incidence of GBV for women traveling by bus, we surveyed 1,509 randomly selected women and men on two of the city’s busiest bus routes.

Results: Our findings indicate that, while traveling by bus, 58% of women have experienced GBV whereas 67% of men reported having witnessed GBV against women. Moreover, 18% of passengers reported believing that it is dangerous for women to travel alone. Among women, factors that significantly predicted perceived risk of traveling alone include personal experience with GBV (OR=1.92, 95% CI=1.12-3.31), having observed GBV against other women (OR=1.64, 95% CI=1.10-2.47) and the belief that women are personally responsible for their experience of GBV (victim blaming) (OR=1.80, 95% CI=1.15-2.84). For men, having observed GBV against women (OR=6.41, 95% CI=3.41-12.04) was the only predictor significantly associated with perceived risk for women traveling alone.

Conclusion: To improve the safety of women traveling in public transportation and reduce the incidence of GBV among female passengers in Mexico City, efforts should be targeted towards changing the social norms that sanction aggression towards women, specifically reducing victim blaming as this behavior inhibits reporting, encouraging effective nonviolent intervention by drivers and passengers, and improving the mechanisms for reporting perpetrators.