Why are people debating the proposed car-free day in Colombo?

Jul 21, 2019 by

For Sri Lankan women, cars are buffers from street harassment

The Colombo Municipal Council recently announced that the city’s first-ever car-free day will be held on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The Council is partnering with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka to organize the pilot event — and although many hail this environment-friendly initiative, others are debating it on social media.

Safety concerns

Many women, for instance, said that cars afford them much-needed protection from sexual harassment. Driving allows them to avoid having to walk on the streets or take public transportation.

Street harassment is a daily reality for most women in Sri Lanka. A 2015 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) study found that 90 per cent of women surveyed had experienced street harassment while taking public transportation. Of these incidents, 74 per cent were physical in nature and included unwanted touching.

Source: Why are people debating the proposed car-free day in Colombo? · Global Voices

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